1 Key Laboratories of Crop Genetics and Physiology of the Jiangsu Province and Plant Functional Genomics of the Ministry of Education, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
2 Key Laboratory of Wheat Biology and Genetic Improvement for Low & Middle Yangtze Valley (Ministry of Agriculture), Lixiahe Agricultural Institute of Jiangsu Province, No. 568, Yangzijiang North Road, Yangzhou 225007, China
This study was conducted to compare structural development and biochemical accumulation of waxy and non-waxy wheat (NW) caryopses. The caryopses’ microstructure of the waxy wheat (WW) and NW cultivars at different developmental stages were observed under light, fluorescence, and scanning electron microscope. The results were as follows: Compared with NW,WWhad a shorter maturation duration, which was reflected in several following characteristics. Programmed cell death of the pericarp began earlier, and the chlorophyll-containing layer in the pericarp was smaller. Vacuoles in chalazal cells accumulated more tannins at different developmental stages. Starch granules and protein bodies in the endosperm showed a higher accumulation level in developing caryopses, and aleurone cells were larger in size with larger numbers of aleurone grains. An analysis of the element content indicated that the mineral elements Mg, P, K, and Ca exhibited a higher content, while the heavy elements Cr, Cd, and Pb exhibited a lower content in the aleurone layer.