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Drought Stress Affects the Reproductive Biology of Avena sterilis ssp. ludoviciana

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Ali, M., Williams, A., Widderick, M. J., Haque, M. A. and Adkins, S. (2023) Drought Stress Affects the Reproductive Biology of Avena sterilis ssp. ludoviciana. Land, 12 (9). p. 1745. ISSN 2073-445X

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091745

Publisher URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/12/9/1745


Avena sterilis ssp. ludoviciana (hereafter, A. ludoviciana) is considered the most difficult-to-control winter weed in the Northern Grains Region (NGR) of Australia. The abundance of this weed has increased after the adoption of the no-tillage conservation agriculture (NTCA) approach, which does not bury seeds deep in the soil profile. In addition, the increasing frequency and intensity of drought stress events during the late winter to early spring period in the NGR may modify this weed’s persistence mechanisms, which may further impact crop production. The present study focused on plant maturity time and seed production, dormancy, and longevity of four NGR A. ludoviciana biotypes in relation to the severity of drought stress over 2 consecutive years. Plants of all four A. ludoviciana biotypes were grown under 100% plant available water capacity (PAWC) until panicle initiation. At panicle initiation, very mild (80% PAWC), mild (60% PAWC), moderate (40% PAWC), and severe (20% PAWC) drought stresses were imposed on plants and continued through to maturity; an additional subset of plants were maintained at 100% PAWC through to maturity (control). Plants exposed to severe drought stress matured 24 days earlier than control plants, and produced 34% fewer filled seeds, with seeds having a 42% lower mass, 70% less dormancy, and shorter predicted longevity of at least 2 years compared to the seeds produced on control plants. All reproductive traits were less affected when the severity of the drought stress was decreased. The increasing frequency of drought stress in combination with the widely adopted practice of NTCA favours seeds of A. ludoviciana to undergo rapid germination in the following autumn/winter NGR planting season. However, effective control of A. ludoviciana remains a challenge in the NGR due to this weed’s genetic variability with respect to its response toward the seasonal variability of the NGR.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:climate change; drought stress; no-tillage; conservation agriculture; wild oat maturity; seed dormancy; seed longevity
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural conservation
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Conservation of natural resources
Plant culture > Field crops > Oats
Plant pests and diseases > Weeds, parasitic plants etc
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:13 Sep 2023 04:01
Last Modified:13 Sep 2023 04:01

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