The role of root architectural traits in adaptation of wheat to water-limited environments

Manschadi, A. M., Christopher, J., Devoil, P. and Hammer, G. L. (2006) The role of root architectural traits in adaptation of wheat to water-limited environments. Functional Plant Biology, 33 9: 823-837. doi:10.1071/FP06055

Author Manschadi, A. M.
Christopher, J.
Devoil, P.
Hammer, G. L.
Title The role of root architectural traits in adaptation of wheat to water-limited environments
Journal name Functional Plant Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-4408
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/FP06055
Volume 33
Issue 9
Start page 823
End page 837
Total pages 15
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher CSIRO
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
300203 Plant Improvement (Selection, Breeding and Genetic Engineering)
270402 Plant Physiology
620101 Wheat
0607 Plant Biology
Formatted abstract
Better understanding of root system structure and function is critical to crop improvement in water-limited environments. The aims of this study were to examine root system characteristics of two wheat genotypes contrasting in tolerance to water limitation and to assess the functional implications on adaptation to water-limited environments of any differences found. The drought tolerant barley variety, Mackay, was also included to allow inter-species comparison. Single plants were grown in large, soil-filled root-observation chambers. Root growth was monitored by digital imaging and water extraction was measured. Root architecture differed markedly among the genotypes. The drought-tolerant wheat (cv. SeriM82) had a compact root system, while roots of barley cv. Mackay occupied the largest soil volume. Relative to the standard wheat variety (Hartog), SeriM82 had a more uniform rooting pattern and greater root length at depth. Despite the more compact root architecture of SeriM82, total water extracted did not differ between wheat genotypes. To quantify the value of these adaptive traits, a simulation analysis was conducted with the cropping system model APSIM, for a wide range of environments in southern Queensland, Australia. The analysis indicated a mean relative yield benefit of 14.5% in water-deficit seasons. Each additional millimetre of water extracted during grain filling generated an extra 55 kg ha-1 of grain yield. The functional implications of root traits on temporal patterns and total amount of water capture, and their importance in crop adaptation to specific water-limited environments, are discussed.
© CSIRO 2006.
Keyword Apsim
Root characteristics
Simulation modelling
Water uptake
Plant sciences
Rain-fed environments
Triticum-aestivum L
Cropping systems perspective
Temperate cereals
Use efficiency
Simulation capabilities
Drought resistance
Seminal roots
Dryland wheat
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 09:23:31 EST