The harvested plant products, specifically, the grains of cereals are major drivers of soil phosphorus (P) depletion. However, the breeding or biotechnology efforts to develop low P seeds have not been attempted because of possible adverse effects on seedling vigour and crop establishment. Several studies have contradictory observations on influence of seed P on seedling vigour. Lack of appropriate genetic material has been the major bottleneck in reaching the consensus. In this study, we used 30 EMS induced mutants of rice cultivar Nagina22 to understand the role of seed P on seedling vigour and associated physiological processes. Seedling vigour, morpho-physiological characteristics, acid phosphatases, alpha-amylase, and expression of P transporter genes were analyzed in seedlings obtained from seeds of high and low grain P mutants. The study suggests that seed P has a significant role on seedling vigour, chlorophyll content and photosynthesis process of young seedlings, and P transport from roots. Notably, we identified few mutants such as NH4791, NH4785, NH4714, NH4663, NH4614, and NH4618 which showed least influence of low seed P on seedling vigour and other metabolic processes. Therefore, these mutants can be used in breeding programs aiming for development of low P grains. Also, these and other identified mutants can be used to decipher the genetic and molecular mechanisms regulating the differential response of seed P on germination, seedling vigour and several other physiological processes influencing the crop growth and establishment.
© 2022. The Author(s).