Lysenko’s error about crop growth and development

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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More than 60 years ago, the Ukrainian agronomist Trofin Lysenko asserted that wheat growth was independent of development. Field experiments reported by FAJ Harris and others at this conference disproved this assertion by showing that the VRN1 genes, which control the developmental response to vernalisation, also affect growth. They showed that vegetative growth of wheat genotypes that possess the spring Vrn-B1a allele is 19% faster than genotypes with the winter Vrn-B1v allele. There was no such effect of the VRN1 genes carried on the A or D genomes, or the PPD1 genes. Previous research had cast doubt on the independence of growth and development, but this is the first conclusive evidence from field experiments that refute the supposed independence. The physiological mechanism linking assimilation and development
is not clear, but while it is being investigated there is scope for using the result to manipulate vegetative growth. Rapid vegetative growth may be a valuable trait for late-sown crops in dry environments, for dual-purpose cultivars and for suppressing weeds, but a disadvantage where there is a risk of haying off.
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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