Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of



Harkamal Walia (ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9712-5824)

Document Type


Date of this Version



bioRxiv preprint doi:

this version posted June 29, 2022.


CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.


Our understanding of the physiological response of rice inflorescence (panicle) to environmental stresses is limited by the challenge of accurately determining panicle photosynthetic parameters and their impact on grain yield. This is primarily due to lack of a suitable gas exchange methodology for panicles, as well as non-destructive methods to accurately determine panicle surface area. To address these challenges, we have developed a custom panicle gas exchange cylinder compatible with the LiCor 6800 Infra-red Gas Analyzer. Accurate surface area measurements were determined with a 3D panicle imaging platform to normalize the panicle-level photosynthetic measurements. We observed differential responses in both panicle and flag leaf for two temperate Japonica rice genotypes (accessions, TEJ-1 and TEJ-2) exposed to heat stress during early grain filling. There was a notable divergence in relative photosynthetic contribution of flag leaf and panicles for the genotype tolerant to heat stress (TEJ-2) compared to the less tolerant accession. The novelty of this approach is that it is non-destructive and more accurately determines panicle area and photosynthetic parameters, enabling researchers to monitor temporal changes in panicle physiology during the reproductive development. The method is useful for panicle-level measurements under diverse environmental stresses, and for evaluating genotypic variation for panicle physiology and architecture in other cereals with compact inflorescences.