High planting density induces the expression of GA3-oxidase in leaves and GA mediated stem elongation in bioenergy sorghum. Academic Article uri icon


  • The stems of bioenergy sorghum hybrids at harvest are>4m long, contain>40 internodes and account for~80% of harvested biomass. In this study, bioenergy sorghum hybrids were grown at four planting densities (~20,000 to 132,000 plants/ha) under field conditions for 60days to investigate the impact shading has on stem growth and biomass accumulation. Increased planting density induced a>2-fold increase in sorghum internode length and a~22% decrease in stem diameter, a typical shade avoidance response. Shade-induced internode elongation was due to an increase in cell length and number of cells spanning the length of internodes. SbGA3ox2 (Sobic.003G045900), a gene encoding the last step in GA biosynthesis, was expressed~20-fold higher in leaf collar tissue of developing phytomers in plants grown at high vs. low density. Application of GA3 to bioenergy sorghum increased plant height, stem internode length, cell length and the number of cells spanning internodes. Prior research showed that sorghum plants lacking phytochrome B, a key photoreceptor involved in shade signaling, accumulated more GA1 and displayed shade avoidance phenotypes. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that increasing planting density induces expression of GA3-oxidase in leaf collar tissue, increasing synthesis of GA that stimulates internode elongation.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Yu, K., McKinley, B., Rooney, W. L., & Mullet, J. E.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Yu, Ka Man Jasmine||McKinley, Brian||Rooney, William L||Mullet, John E

publication date

  • January 2021