Physiological perspectives of reduced tillering and stunting in the tiller inhibition (tin) mutant of wheat

Tesfamichael H. Kebrom, Texas A&M University
Richard A. Richards, CSIRO Plant Industry


The number of tillers established in cereal crops far exceeds the number that end up being grain bearing at maturity. Improving the economy in tillering has been proposed to improve cereal yields in both favourable and unfavourable environments. The tiller inhibition mutant (tin) is potentially useful for breeding varieties with a greater economy of tillering. However, its tendency to stunting under long day and low temperatures has limited its use. Recently, the inhibition of tillering in tin has been linked to precocious development of solid basal internodes that compete for sucrose and possibly other resources with the growing tiller buds leading to their developmental arrest. Although the physiological basis of stunting in tin is unknown, both inhibition of tillering and stunting begin during the transition from vegetative to reproductive phase indicating a common physiological basis for both. In this review, we provide overall perspectives for the physiological basis of tiller inhibition and stunting in tin and suggest the direction of research in the future. Journal compilation © CSIRO 2013.