Breeding for shoot vigour modifies below-ground architecture and weed competitiveness in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Pieter-Willem Hendriks, Saliya Gurusinghe, Cathrine H Ingvordsen, Greg J. Rebetzke, Peter R Ryan, Leslie Ann Weston

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

10 Downloads (Pure)


Weeds represent a serious and ongoing problem to wheat production in Australia. The increasing cost of weed infestation and the rise of herbicide resistance suggest the critical need for an integrated approach to weed management. One strategy is to develop more vigorous wheat cultivars that can
better compete with weeds for light above ground and water and nutrients below-ground. Root traits that help plants explore more soil and extract its resources include root length, root depth, branching pattern, root angles and root hair length. To evaluate the relationship between shoot vigour and below-ground competitiveness in wheat, we measured several root traits in a set of CSIRO pre-breeding lines selected for high early shoot vigour and compared them with commercial and historic wheat cultivars and a triticale cultivar. Root biomass, total root length and root depth of the high vigour lines were greater than the commercial cultivars. We conclude that the selection for increased early shoot vigour also modified many major root traits potentially associated with below-ground competitiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSystem Solutions for Complex Problems
Subtitle of host publication Proceedings of the 20th Australian Agronomy Conference Toowoomba, Queensland 18-22 September 2022
PublisherAustralian Society of Agronomy
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Event20th Australian Agronomy Conference - Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, Australia
Duration: 18 Sept 202222 Sept 2022 (Proceedings) (Program)


Conference20th Australian Agronomy Conference
Abbreviated titleSystem solutions for complex problems
OtherThe theme of the conference is System Solutions for Complex Problems. The theme underpins the need to strengthen collaborations between practitioners and researchers from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds to address increasingly complex problems and uncertainties. So, the question is not If, but when and how, multidisciplinary collaborations will be developed.
The 20th Australian Agronomy Conference will feature leading international and national speakers addressing issues such as the need to foster soil biology for enduring profitability, carbon sequestration, herbicide resistance, and the interwoven relationships between food production, energy and the environment. We will discuss and share our latest research findings amongst circa 300 agronomists from Australia and the world, as well as farmers, consultants, agribusinesses and farmer peak bodies.
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Breeding for shoot vigour modifies below-ground architecture and weed competitiveness in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this