Research and Programs
National Key Program from NSFC
Physiological Mechanisms of Cotton Boll Development in Response to Water Stress

Source: Date: 2018-10-06 Click:

Principal Investigator: Zhou Zhiguo 

Funding Received: 2.64 million RMB

Sponsored by: National Natural Science Foundation of China

Project Period: January, 2017─December, 2021

Brief Introduction:

  Greenhouse effects exacerbate the risk of agriculture suffering from short-term extreme climate stress. Recently, drought or waterlogging becomes more frequent during the flowering and boll-forming periods, resulting in it that cotton yield and fiber quality have deteriorated. The flowering and boll-forming periods are the critical stages for cotton boll development and the most sensitive time to water stress. Here, water stress experiments are designed using cotton cultivars with different water stress sensitivities to investigate the relationships between the "four systems" which are (1) the subtending leaf to cotton boll, which can afford 60%-87% of the photosynthates to its subtended boll; (2) capsule wall, which is the carbohydrate source for cotton seed and fiber; (3) cottonseed, which is the matter source of fiber development; and (4) cotton fiber, which comes from epidermal cells. And by cooperatively analyzing the source-sink relationships and the responses of the "four systems" to cotton plant water content, this study will identify the key matters and key metabolic pathways which are sensitive to water stress. Besides, this study will reveal the mutual linkage mechanism among the "four systems" under water stress and simultaneously confirm the "main system" and "key factors" (key material and key enzymes) which obviously affect seed cotton weight per boll and boll (seed, fiber) quality. Through comparing the differences in mRNA and protein levels for the key enzyme between different cultivars, this study will reveal the molecular mechanism of the "main system" and the "key factors" in response to water stress. The findings would be of theoretical significance for exploring the soil water regulation pathways on cotton yield and quality formation and would help to develop effective techniques in cotton cultivation.

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