Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 July 2013
Two winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars, Jimai20 and Shannong12, differing in phosphorus (P) utilization efficiency, were selected to study the effect of P application rate on changes in glutenin macropolymer (GMP) size distribution and the content of high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) in wheat grain. Four P levels (0, 40, 100 and 160 kg/ha) were applied under N1 (112·5 kg/ha) and N2 (225 kg/ha) conditions in the field, in 2008/09 and 2009/10. The results showed that increased P levels favoured HMW-GS synthesis under N1 conditions, but had a less pronounced effect under N2. When compared with the control, the volume proportions of <10 μm GMP particles in grains of both cultivars were significantly decreased, and those of >100 μm were increased in response to P application. The volume proportions of 10–100 μm GMP particles in the cultivars Jimai20 and Shannong12 were respectively lower and higher in response to P application than with no P fertilizer. At maturity, for both cultivars, total HMW-GS content was negatively correlated with GMP particle volume of <10 μm, but positively correlated with that of >100 μm. These observations suggest that both P and N affect protein synthesis in wheat grains and there exists a relationship between HMW-GS content and the synthesis of large GMP particles (>100 μm). The N×P interaction was the most important factor to regulate the HMW-GS and GMP contents.
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