Linkages between wheat development and growth: it’s in the genes

Felicity Harris, Howard Eagles, James Virgona, Peter Martin, Jason Condon, John Angus

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

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There has been some anecdotal evidence that suggests rate of development and the accumulation of biomass may be associated, with reports early-maturing cultivars grow faster than later-maturing cultivars. Rate of development is largely determined by responses to photoperiod and vernalisation controlled by the PPD1 and VRN1 genes. PPD1 and VRN1, are now known to be regulatory genes, influencing traits in addition to phenology, though effects on crop growth have not previously been reported in field crops. The effects of Ppd-B1, Ppd-D1, Vrn-A1, Vrn-B1 and Vrn-D1 genes on anthesis date and crop growth rate were measured on forty-seven lines from a doubled-haploid population derived from the cross between cv. Janz and cv. Diamondbird. The lines were grown in replicated field experiments at Wagga Wagga and Yanco in 2010.
These genes accounted for 75% of the genetic variance in anthesis date. Presence of the winter allele at either Vrn-A1 or Vrn-B1 delayed anthesis, whilst genotypes with winter alleles at all three VRN1 loci (Vrn-A1v +Vrn-B1v +Vrn-D1v) caused the largest delay in anthesis date and were classified as winter types. Presence of the winter allele Vrn-B1v consistently reduced biomass and slowed crop growth rate compared to the spring allele Vrn-B1a. However, the suppression of growth reported for Vrn-B1v was independent of alleles at other
VRN1 loci, suggesting the effect of VRN1 genes on plant growth is a pleiotropic effect of these genes, rather than a direct association with development per se. The faster growth associated with Vrn-B1a may explain the yield advantage of cultivars with this allele in some environments reported in a previous study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference
PublisherAustralian Society of Agronomy
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event18th Australian Agronomy Conference 2017 - Mercure Ballarat Hotel & Convention Centre, Ballarat, Australia
Duration: 24 Sept 201728 Sept 2017 (Conference website) (Conference proceedings)

Publication series

Name18th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference, 24 – 28 September 2017, Ballarat, VIC, Australia


Conference18th Australian Agronomy Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleDoing more with less
OtherThe 18th Australian Agronomy Conference will be held at the Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre, Victoria from 24-28 September 2017. The Australian Agronomy Conference is the meeting place for Agronomists; it supports research and the community of Agronomists by connecting Agronomy communities across Australia to each other.

The theme for the 2017 conference is “Doing more with less”. A central plank of Australia’s productive output is agriculture, worth over AUD$13.6 billion exported annually. Agronomy is key to ensuring that farmland is productive across Australia’s diverse landscapes. Innovation in machinery and precision technologies, plant species and varieties, soil and plant management may allow the agronomist of today to successfully help agricultural producers thrive. These innovations are timely as the world deals with increasingly variable climates, environmental degradation, and a more developed global community that requires more diverse products from agriculture.
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