Comparison of fructan dynamics in two wheat cultivars with different capacities of accumulation and remobilization under drought stress.Physiol Plant 2012; 144(1):1-12PP
Remobilization of stored carbohydrates in the stem of wheat plants is an important contributor to grain filling under drought stress (DS) conditions. A massive screening on Iranian wheat cultivars was performed based on stem dry weight changes under well-watered and DS conditions. Two cultivars, Shole and Crossed Falat Hamun (CFH), with different fructan accumulation and remobilization behavior were selected for further studies. Water-soluble carbohydrates (WSCs) and fructan metabolizing enzymes were studied both in the stem penultimate and in sucrose (Suc) treated, excised leaves. Under drought, CFH produced higher grain yields than Shole (412 vs 220 g m(-2)). Also, grain yield loss under drought was more limited in CFH than in Shole (17 vs 54%). Under drought, CFH accumulated more graminan-type fructo-oligosaccharides than Shole. After anthesis, fructan 6-exohydrolase (6-FEH; EC 220.127.116.11) activities increased more prominently than fructan 1-exohydrolase (EC 18.104.22.168) activities during carbon remobilization. Interestingly, CFH showed higher 6-FEH activities in the penultimate than Shole. The field experiment results suggest that the combined higher remobilization efficiency and high 6-FEH activities in stems of wheat could contribute to grain yield under terminal drought. Similar to the penultimate, fructan metabolism differed strongly in Suc-treated detached leaves of selected cultivars. This suggests that variation in the stem fructan among wheat cultivars grown in the field could be traced by leaf blade induction experiments.