Sensitivity of leaflet growth rate to drought predicts yield in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). uri icon

abstract

  • Although drought limits yield by decreasing photosynthesis and therefore biomass accumulation, biomass is not the strongest predictor of yield under drought in common beans (Phaseolus vulgarisL.). Instead, resource partitioning from pod walls into seeds is a stronger correlate. Our aim was to determine whether growth rates of developing leaflets and pods, as independent indicators of sink strength, predict resource partitioning into seeds. Using 20 field-grown genotypes, we paired biomass, yield, and resource partitioning data with leaflet and pod growth rates under well-watered and droughted conditions. We hypothesised that genotypes with faster growing leaflets and pods under drought would fill seeds better. However, we found that leaflet and pod growth rates did not predict partitioning to seeds; rather, sensitivity of leaflet growth rate to drought was a good predictor of yield reduction. Further, plants with rapidly growing leaves under well-watered conditions were most vulnerable to decreases in leaflet growth rate under drought. This suggests that lines that inherited a conservative growth strategy were better able to maintain yield by allocating resources to seeds. Our findings indicate that inherent sensitivity of leaflet growth rate to drought may be used as a predictor of partitioning and yield in common beans.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020