Developmental and growth controls of tillering and water-soluble carbohydrate accumulation in contrasting wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes: can we dissect them? uri icon

abstract

  • In wheat, tillering and water-soluble carbohydrates (WSCs) in the stem are potential traits for adaptation to different environments and are of interest as targets for selective breeding. This study investigated the observation that a high stem WSC concentration (WSCc) is often related to low tillering. The proposition tested was that stem WSC accumulation is plant density dependent and could be an emergent property of tillering, whether driven by genotype or by environment. A small subset of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) contrasting for tillering was grown at different plant densities or on different sowing dates in multiple field experiments. Both tillering and WSCc were highly influenced by the environment, with a smaller, distinct genotypic component; the genotypeenvironment range covered 350750 stems m(2) and 25210mg g(1) WSCc. Stem WSCc was inversely related to stem number m(2), but genotypic rankings for stem WSCc persisted when RILs were compared at similar stem density. Low tilleringhigh WSCc RILs had similar leaf area index, larger individual leaves, and stems with larger internode cross-section and wall area when compared with high tilleringlow WSCc RILs. The maximum number of stems per plant was positively associated with growth and relative growth rate per plant, tillering rate and duration, and also, in some treatments, with leaf appearance rate and final leaf number. A common threshold of the red:far red ratio (0.390.44; standard error of the difference0.055) coincided with the maximum stem number per plant across genotypes and plant densities, and could be effectively used in crop simulation modelling as a ocut-off' rule for tillering. The relationship between tillering, WSCc, and their component traits, as well as the possible implications for crop simulation and breeding, is discussed.

publication date

  • 2013
  • 2013