Contribution of stem dry matter to grain yield in wheat cultivars.


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Field experiments were conducted in the eastern wheat belt of Western Australia in a dry year with and without irrigation (1987) and in a wet year (1988), comparing three cultivars of wheat differing in height and yield potential. The aim of the study was to determine the contribution of remobilisable stem dry matter to grain dry matter under different water regimes in old and modern wheats.

Stem non-structural carbohydrate was labelled with C-14 1 day after anthesis and the activity and weight of this pool and the grain was measured at 2, 18 and 58 days after anthesis. Gutha and Kulin, modern tall and semi-dwarf cultivars respectively, yielded higher than Gamenya, a tall older cultivar in all conditions, but the percentage reduction in yield under water stress was greater for the modern cultivars (41, 34 and 23%). In the grain of Gamenya, the increase in C-14 activity after the initial labelling was highest under water stress. Generally, loss of C-14 activity from the non-structural stem dry matter was less than the increase in grain activity under water stress but similar to or greater than grain activity increase under well watered conditions. Averaged over environments and cultivars, non-structural dry matter stored in the stem contributed at least 20% of the grain dry matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal Plant Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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