A greater relative growth rate of Brassica rapa L. at low temperatures increases biomass at anthesis

Ping Si, N. Thurling

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    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Low biomass at anthesis of early flowering cultivars of Brassica rapa L. limits seed yield potential in Mediterranean- type environments. This study investigated the possibility of increasing crop biomass at anthesis through increased pre- anthesis growth as a basis for yield improvement. Growth and developmental characteristics were compared in the field during winter over 2 years among half-sib families and among BC2F3:4 lines derived from a B. rapa cross-composite population, which was created by hybridisation among cultivars of 4 subspecies (ssp. oleifera, dichotoma, trilocularis, and chinensis).There was significant (P <0.05) genotypic variation in plant dry weight at anthesis, time to flowering, and pre- anthesis relative growth rate (RGR) among both half-sib families and BC2F3:4 lines during winter in the field. Plant dry weight at anthesis, in 2 data sets, was positively correlated with time to flowering (r = 0.61** at least) and with RGR (r = 0.53* at least). RGR was independent of flowering time (r = 0.36 at most, n.s.). These relationships suggested that it might be possible to develop early flowering cultivars with increased seed yield by selecting for higher RGR before anthesis.RGR of BC2 F-3:4 lines in the field during winter was correlated with RGR at low temperatures (13/4C) in a controlled environment, suggesting that genotypes producing more dry weight at anthesis grew more at the low temperatures normally experienced in the field. This was supported by a significant (P <0.05) negative correlation (r = -0.69**) between growth in the field and potassium leakage from leaf tissue at 4C of the BC2F3:4 lines. Selection for greater pre- anthesis growth and lower potassium leakage has the potential for improving biomass production at anthesis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)645-652
    JournalCrop and Pasture Science
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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