Effect of lowering the root/shoot ratio by pruning roots on water use efficiency and grain yield of winter wheat.

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2010
Month Published: NA
Author: Ma, ShouChen ; Li, FengMin ; Xu, BingCheng ; Huang,ZhanBin
Book Group Author: NA

A pot and a field experiment were conducted to assess the effects of root/shoot ratio (R/S) on the water use efficiency (WUE) and grain yield of winter wheat. The R/S was regulated by pruning the roots during the stem elongation stage, resulting in reduced root systems of the plants. At the heading stage, the root dry weight of root-pruned plants was less than that of intact-root plants, but their R/S was similar to that of intact-root plants under both experimental conditions. After tiller pruning, the R/S of root-pruned plants was significantly lower than that of intact-root plants (p<0.05). Root pruning reduced the rate of leaf transpiration and lowered the number of tillers per plant (p<0.05) during the vegetative stage. As a result, root-pruned wheat showed reduced water use when compared to intact-root plants before heading (p<0.05). At anthesis, there was no significant difference in transpiration between plants with intact roots and those with pruned roots in the pots. However, under field conditions, transpiration of root-pruned plants was significantly higher than that of intact-root plants at anthesis. Additionally, at anthesis root-pruned plants had a higher rate of leaf photosynthesis and lower rate of root respiration, which resulted in a significantly higher grain yield at maturity when compared to plants with intact roots. Under both experimental conditions, there were no significant differences in shoot dry weight per plant between root-pruned and intact-root plants grown in monoculture. When root-pruned plants were grown with intact-root plants, the root-pruned wheat was less productive and had a lower relative shoot dry weight (0.78 and 0.86, respectively) than the intact-root plants (1.24 and 1.16, respectively). These results suggest that plants with pruned roots had a lower ability to compete and to acquire and use the same resources in the mixture when compared with intact-root plants. Root pruning improved the WUE of winter wheat under both experimental conditions. This suggests that appropriate management for the root system/tillers in wheat crops can be used to increase grain yield and water use efficiency. Specifically, lowering the R/S improved the grain yield and WUE of winter wheat significantly by lowering its competitive ability and improving root efficiency. Therefore, drought-resistance breeding to improve the grain yield and WUE, at least for wheat, should be made by targeted selection of less competitive progeny with a small R/S for cultivation in arid and semiarid areas.

Pages: 158 - 164
URL: http://0-search.ebscohost.com.catalog.library.colostate.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,url,cpid&custid=s4640792&db=lah&AN=20103049112&site=ehost-live
Volume: 115
Number: 2
Journal: Field Crops Research
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 0378-4290

crop yield, photosynthesis, plant water relations, pruning,root shoot ratio, roots, tillers, transpiration, water use efficiency,wheat, winter wheat, Triticum aestivum, Triticum, Poaceae, Cyperales,monocotyledons, angiosperms, Spermatophyta, plants, eukaryotes, carbonassimilation, carbon dioxide fixation, Field Crops (FF005) (New March2000), Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (FF060), Plant Water Relations(FF062), Plant Production (FF100)

Source: EBSCO
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