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Stay-green traits to improve wheat adaptation in well-watered and water-limited environments

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Christopher, J.T., Christopher, M. J., Borrell, A. K., Fletcher, S. and Chenu, K. (2016) Stay-green traits to improve wheat adaptation in well-watered and water-limited environments. Journal of Experimental Botany .


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erw276


A stay-green phenotype enables crops to retain green leaves longer after anthesis compared with senescent types, potentially improving yield. Measuring the normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI) during the whole senescence period allows quantification of component stay-green traits contributing to a stay-green phenotype. These objective and standardized traits can be compared across genotypes and environments. Traits examined include maximum NDVI near anthesis (Nmax), senescence rate (SR), a trait integrating senescence (SGint), plus time from anthesis to onset (OnS), mid-point (MidS), and near completion (EndS) of senescence. The correlation between stay-green traits and yield was studied in eight contrasting environments ranging from well watered to severely water limited. Environments were each classified into one of the four major drought environment types (ETs) previously identified for the Australian wheat cropping system. SGint, OnS, and MidS tended to have higher values in higher yielding environments for a given genotype, as well as for higher yielding genotypes within a given environment. Correlation between specific stay-green traits and yield varied with ET. In the studied population, SGint, OnS, and MidS strongly correlated with yield in three of the four ETs which included well-watered environments (0.43–0.86), but less so in environments with only moderate water-stress after anthesis (−0.03 to 0.31). In contrast, Nmax was most highly correlated with yield under moderate post-anthesis water stress (0.31–0.43). Selection for particular stay-green traits, combinations of traits, and/or molecular markers associated with the traits could enhance genetic progress toward stay-green wheats with higher, more stable yield in both well-watered and water-limited conditions.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Open access PDF attached
Keywords:Crop adaptation, crop improvement, drought, genotype×environment interaction, leaf senescence, phenotyping, stay-green, water limitation, wheat.
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Field crops > Wheat
Live Archive:11 Jan 2017 05:45
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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