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Eleven spring wheat cultivars were compared in terms of the stability of their grain yield and grain quality. The cultivars’ stability was evaluated separately at two different crop management levels – moderate-input management and high-input management. Three stability models were used for the two crop management levels based on a linear mixed model framework with restricted maximum likelihood. The Shukla model was the most appropriate for the evaluation of stability of tested spring wheat cultivars. The thousand-grain weight, starch content, Zeleny sedimentation value and test weight were characterized, and the stability ranking cultivars at moderate-input management level was mostly consistent with the rank of cultivars 24 for high-input management level. For grain yield, grain protein content and wet gluten content, the stability rankings were not consistent. Cultivars ‘Monsun’ and ‘Parabola’ are the most stable cultivars for grain yield in moderate-input management and high-input management, respectively. Cultivar ‘Hewilla’ was the stable cultivar for all quality traits at moderate-input management. Cultivar ‘Arabella’ was the most stable cultivar at high-input management level.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: A. Noga, M. Warchoł, I. Czyczyło-Mysza, I. Marcińska, K. Dziurka, T. Warzecha, and E. Skrzypek

Chlorophyll a fluorescence can provide insight into the ability of plants to tolerate environmental conditions that can damage photosynthetic apparatus and decrease yield. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters and yield components of oat DH lines. All DH lines significantly differed in chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters and yield components. The overall performance index of PSII photochemistry (PI), showed the highest variation between DH lines, whereas the lowest had the ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence (Fv/Fm). The highest differences were observed in the number of grains per plant (21.3 to 600). Thousand-grain weight varied from 17.82 g to 41.01 g and the biomass from 8.01 g to 29.31 g. The highest negative correlations were found between Fv/Fm, Area (pool size of electron acceptors from PSII), PI and grain number per plant and biomass. Positive correlations were observed between light energy absorption (ABS/CS), grain number per plant and biomass, as well as the amount of excitation energy trapped in PSII reaction centers (TRo/CS) and biomass. Principal component analysis of chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters, together with yield components, discriminated two oat DH lines groups according to their photosynthetic efficiency and yield.

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Wheat production is limited primarily by water deficiency. The challenge of our days is to increase production with less water by promoting biological basis of drought tolerance and higher water use efficiency (WUE).Eight genotypes were examined to make comparison of their response to drought. The plants were grown in pots filled with 8.5 kg soil. The drought stress was started at the mid-flowering stage (Zadoks’ scale: 65) and continued till maturity by adding only 50% of the water given to the control pots. Morphological and physiological characteristics known to be related to drought tolerance were examined.Duration of grain filling was shortened by 3 days in the mean of genotypes, the number of productive tillers were reduced by about 20% in case of the newly bred cultivars and 4–11% for extensive genotypes because of water deficiency. The highest root dry weight increment was measured in case of Emese (71%) and Pántlika (54%), while Cap.Des. increased it’s root weight only by 24%. Yield reduction was found between 11- and 44% and was mainly due to decrease of thousand grain weight (TGW). Regarding netto photosynthetic activity, intensive cultivars had positive balance even in stress treatment, while the extensive genotypes reacted with quick closing of stomata. The genotypes with small yield decrease proved to improve their WUE to a grater extent. According to our results Pántlika and Emese proved to be drought tolerant cultivars.

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A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of soil application of zinc fertilizer on yield and yield components of wheat ( Triticum aestivum L. cv. Inqlab 91) grown on calcareous soil in Pakistan. The levels of zinc sulphate were 0 (control), 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 kg ha −2 and the zinc sulphate was combine-drilled at the time of sowing. Zinc sulphate increased the Leaf Area Index, the total number of fertile tillers m −2 , number of spikelets spike −2 , spike length, grain spike −2 , thousand grain weight, grain yield, straw yield and biological yield and decreased harvest index. Most of the response trends were curvilinear although the decrease in harvest index was linear. All applications of zinc sulphate gave economic increases in margins over costs but the application of 5 kg ha −2 gave the highest marginal rate of return. It is recommended that under such calcareous soil conditions growers can expect good returns from the application of 5 kg zinc sulphate ha −2 at the time of sowing but if the grain price were to increase or the price of zinc sulphate were reduced economic responses could be expected from higher levels of zinc sulphate.

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Quality of wheat grain is a complex trait that depends mostly on the quantity and quality of protein and unified interactions between high molecular glutenin, gliadin, low molecular glutenins and abiotic stresses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of genotype, environment and genotype × environment interaction on quality and some agronomic traits in wheat. Twenty divergent genotypes of winter wheat, per five from Serbia, Russia, France and Hungary were analysed in this paper. Variability was observed for quality (grain protein content and sedimentation) and agronomic traits (thousand-grain weight and test weight) in three growing seasons (2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10). Genotypes were statistically analysed [basic statistical parameters, AMMI biplot for the content of protein, correlation and Principal Component Analysis (PCA)] in order to assess the impact of different growing seasons on selected cultivars. AMMI analysis determined that 2008/09 was very significant for most of the genotypes. The Hungarian cultivar GK-Zugoly had the highest grain protein content (14.4%). Correlation analysis showed different relationships between the traits. PCA indicated that the total variation reflected the first two components represented with 80%, but the first principal component was more important. Results of this paper indicate that the varieties MV-Csardas and Pamyati Kalinenko can be used as a good source of genetic material for future breeding program for agro-ecological conditions of Vojvodina.

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The aim of this study was to observe the influence of the amount of precipitation during the grain filling period on nitrogen uptake and grain yield of spring barley fertilized by ammonium injection. Conventional nitrogen fertilization before sowing and CULTAN (Controlled Uptake Long Term Ammonium Nutrition) injection fertilization were compared during a 5-year small-plot field experiment under the conditions of Central Europe. In contrast to conventional nitrogen fertilization, with the CULTAN treatment there was observed no significantly negative effect of below-average precipitation during the grain filling period on post-heading (BBCH 51) nitrogen uptake from the soil with applications of 80 and 130 kg N.ha−1, grain yield, nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUpE) and thousand-grain weight with an application of 80 kg N.ha−1, nor there was a significantly positive effect on the contribution of nitrogen translocation to total nitrogen in the grain with an application of 130 kg N.ha−1. CULTANtreated plants achieved a significantly higher harvest index than conventionally treated plants with an application of 80 kg N.ha−1. Below average precipitation during the grain filling period had a significantly negative effect on nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) with both treatments. Using the CULTAN treatment leads to significantly lower flag leaf area compared to conventional treatment with an application of 80 kg N.ha−1. The application of 130 kg N.ha−1 brings no benefits to spring barley production.

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Zinc is essentially required for crop growth and its insufficient supply to the plants may severely limit the yield traits of a crop. A field experiment was performed during rabi season of 2009–10 and 2010–11 to evaluate the performance of different wheat genotypes under different levels of zinc namely 0 kg ZnSO4 ha−1, 20 kg ZnSO4 ha−1 and 20 kg ZnSO4 ha−1 along with foliar spray of 0.5% solution of ZnSO4. Genotypes responded positively in terms of tiller number, grain and biological yield, spikelet length, spikelet number, grain number and thousandgrain weight. The best response was observed with the application of 20 kg ZnSO4 ha−1 along with foliar spray of 0.5% solution of ZnSO4. Zinc application brought about a maximum increase of 58.6% in tiller number, 63.7% in thousand-grain weight, 40.5% in biological yield, 66.1% in grain yield irrespective of genotypes and the year of study. Wheat genotypes exhibited a variation in their performance which has been exploited in this study. Genotypes UP-262, PBW-175, PBW-343 were found to be superior for one or the other yield contributing factors.

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The 1BL/1RS wheat-rye translocations had been used in wheat breeding programs worldwide. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the 1BL/1RS translocation in SeriM82 /Babax recombinant population. 167 lines of this population were assayed under well-irrigated, terminal drought, heat and a combination of heat and drought stress conditions in two years. 5S rDNA and Iag95 markers were used to differentiate genotypes with or without the1BL/1RS translocation. Presence of 1BL/1RS translocation reduced grain yield (YLD), grain per spike (GSP) and grain per m2 (GM2). QTLs in 1 BL/1RS segments indicated increased thousand-grain weight (TGW), chlorophyll content, spikelet per spike (SPLS), spike compactness (SCOM) and awn length (AWL) but reduced YLD, GSP and GM2. The 1BL/1RS carrying lines’ response varied between assayed environments. Plants of drought trials were more affected by 1BL/1RS compared to others. Differences in the effects of 1BL/1RS and QTLs suggest that gene expression at translocation loci is restricted to specific environmental conditions. In general, the 1BL/1RS translocation could not be a suitable source of genetic diversity for enhancing grain yield under heat and drought stresses.

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The objective of this study was to develop an understanding about the genetics of terminal heat tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The minimum number of genes was assessed using Mendelian and quantitative genetic approach. Two crosses were made between heat tolerant and heat susceptible bread wheat cultivars: NW1014 × HUW468 and HUW234 × HUW468. Heat susceptible HUW468 was common in both the crosses. The F4, F5 and F6 generations were evaluated including F1 in two different dates of sowing (normal and very late) under field conditions in year 2006–07. The data was recorded for grain fill duration (GFD) and thousand-grain weight (TGW). Based on data of two dates, decline% and heat susceptibility index (HSI) of GFD and TGW were estimated. Heat tolerance in F1 showed absence of dominance. Estimation of genes using Mendelian approach in F4, F5 and F6 progenies (148–157) of the two crosses suggested that heat tolerance was governed by a minimum of three genes. Quantitative approach also indicated similar number of genes. The distribution of progeny lines in F4 and F6 supported the polygene nature of heat tolerance. These genes if mapped by molecular approach can play an important role through marker assisted selection (MAS) for developing improved thermo-tolerant lines of wheat.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: S. Sareen, N. Bhusal, G. Singh, B.S. Tyagi, V. Tiwari, G.P. Singh, and A.K. Sarial

Heat stress is a matter of a great concern for the wheat crop. Heat stress usually either hastens crop development or shortens the grain filling duration, which severely reduces grain yield. Being a complex trait, understanding the genetics and gene interactions of stress tolerance are the two primary requirements for improving yield levels. Genetic analysis through generation mean analysis helps to find out the nature of gene actions involved in a concerned trait by providing an estimate of main gene effects (additive and dominance) along with their digenic interactions (additive × additive, additive × dominance, and dominance × dominance). In the present investigation, we elucidated the inheritance pattern of different yield contributing traits under heat stress using different cross combinations which could be helpful for selecting a suitable breeding strategy. Thus six generations of five crosses were sown normal (non-stress, TS) and late (heat stress, LS) in a randomized block design with three replications during two crop seasons. The model was not adequate for late sown conditions indicating the expression of epistatic genes under stress conditions. The traits i.e. Days to heading (DH), Days to anthesis (DA), Days to maturity (DM), Grain filling duration (GFD), Grain yield (GY), Thousand grain weight (TGW), Grain weight per spike (GWS) and Heat susceptibility index (HSI) under heat stress conditions were found under the control of additive gene action with dominance × dominance interaction, additive gene action with additive × dominance epistatic effect, dominance gene action with additive × additive interaction effect, additive and dominance gene action with dominance × dominance interaction effect, additive gene action with additive × dominance epistatic effect, additive gene action with additive × additive interaction effect and dominance gene action with additive × additive interaction effect, respectively.

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