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Exploiting the variability and heritability of leaf angle in sorghum to design optimal canopies for different target environments

George-Jaeggli, B., Wu, A., McLean, G., Zhi, X., Massey-Reed, S. R., Jordan, D. and Hammer, G. L. (2022) Exploiting the variability and heritability of leaf angle in sorghum to design optimal canopies for different target environments. In: Proceedings of the 20th Agronomy Australia Conference, 2022, 6 - 10 February 2022, Toowoomba Qld.

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Abstract

In cereal crops, average leaf angle of the canopy affects the total amount of radiation that is intercepted and how effectively light is distributed through the canopy. Selecting for more erect leaves in maize and rice has allowed higher density plantings and has been associated with significant productivity gains in those crops. The effects of leaf angle on crop productivity depend on how it influences within-canopy light distribution and the plants’ efficiency in using that light to produce biomass. Canopy light distribution is influenced by agronomic interventions such as growing at different locations, sowing on different dates, using different plant densities (leaf area index). For sorghum, which may be grown across a large range of latitudes and plant population densities, the effects of leaf angle manipulations have not previously been studied. We used the APSIM-DCaPST sorghum model to simulate the effects of more erectophile canopies on yield for two locations with different latitudes and planting dates, assuming low-and high- intensity agronomies. The simulations showed that more erect leaves would result in yield benefits in most years at both of those locations. Contrary to the situation in maize, the simulated yield gains were greatest in the low-yielding rather than the high-yielding years. Interestingly also, the simulated productivity gains in erectophile sorghum canopies were not due to enhanced light penetration as suggested in maize, but rather through effects on extent of radiation interception and its implications for early crop growth and crop water balance through the crop life cycle.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Open access
Keywords:Population density, light interception, productivity, crop simulation modelling, cereal breeding
Subjects:Science > Statistics > Simulation modelling
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science > Soil and crops. Soil-plant relationships. Soil productivity
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Deposited On:25 Feb 2022 05:29
Last Modified:25 Feb 2022 05:30

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