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Experimental and modelling studies of drought-adaptive root architectural traits in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

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Manschadi, A.M., Christopher, J. T., Hammer, G. L. and Devoil, P. (2010) Experimental and modelling studies of drought-adaptive root architectural traits in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Plant Biosystems, 144 (2). pp. 458-462. ISSN 11263504 (ISSN)

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/11263501003731805


This paper presents an interdisciplinary approach to crop improvement that links physiology with plant breeding and simulation modelling to enhance the selection of high-yielding, drought-tolerant varieties. In a series of field experiments in Queensland, Australia, we found that the yield of CIMMYT wheat line SeriM82 ranged from 6% to 28% greater than the current cultivar Hartog. Physiological studies on the adaptive traits revealed that SeriM82 had a narrower root architecture and extracted more soil moisture, particularly deep in the profile. Results of a simulation analysis of these adaptive root traits with the cropping system model APSIM for a range of rain-fed environments in southern Queensland indicated a mean relative yield benefit of 14.5% in water-deficit seasons. Furthermore, each additional millimetre of water extracted during grain filling generated an extra 55 kg ha-1 of grain yield. Further root studies of a large number of wheat genotypes revealed that wheat root architecture is closely linked to the angle of seminal roots at the seedling stage - a trait which is suitable for large-scale and cost-effective screening programmes. Overall, our results suggest that an interdisciplinary approach to crop improvement is likely to enhance the rate of yield improvement in rain-fed crops. © 2010 Società Botanica Italiana.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Root chambers Root-length density Rooting depth Soil water content Stay-green phenotype Water-scarce environments Triticum aestivum
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Plant culture > Field crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Wheat
Live Archive:21 Feb 2023 05:41
Last Modified:21 Feb 2023 05:41

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