Stem solidness and its relationship to water-soluble carbohydrates: association with wheat yield under water deficit uri icon

abstract

  • A study of 36 wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes with different levels of stem solidness was conducted to assess the heritability and relationship among stem morphological properties, stem water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) storage capacity and grain yield. The total amount of pith-fill in the upper stem internode (VOL) was highly correlated with the total content of WSC per stem under both water deficit (DEF) (r = 0.56) and well irrigated conditions (IRR) (r = 0.49). A positive correlation was also found between VOL and grain yield under DEF (r = 0.49), which was explained by the positive contribution of WSC to grain yield. A closer association of grain yield and morphological traits was identified under DEF than under IRR. The closer associations found among estimations of % WSC and WSC-area and grain yield under DEF indicate that these variables may be adaptive rather than constitutive traits. High heritability values (0.77-0.84) observed for stem morphological traits reinforce their potential use in breeding for high WSC and ultimately, higher grain yield under water-limited environments. Stem length, diameter and solidness could be combined in an ideal plant ideotype to maximise WSC reserves as a strategy to improve yield under water-limited conditions.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010