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  1. Vol. 21 No. 2, p. 249-252
     
    Received: Nov 19, 1979
    Published: Mar, 1981


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doi:10.2135/cropsci1981.0011183X002100020011x

Seminal Root Morphology and Water Use of Wheat I. Environmental Effects1

  1. R. A. Richards and
  2. J. B. Passioura2

Abstract

Abstract

When wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is growing predominantly on a limited supply of stored soil water, an increase in the axial resistance to water flow in the roots would conserve some of that water for the critical period during flowering and grain filling. This increase may be achieved by decreasing either the diameter of the main xylem vessel in the seminal axes or the number of seminal axes. The effects of different environments, or seed characters which are influenced by the environment, on both these seminal root characters are reported here. Few of the many factors studied had an effect. The most notable were grain size, drought, and temperature between germination and emergence, and drought when the seed was being produced. Neither root character showed any genotype-environment interactions when contrasting genotypes were grown in different environments. This gives promise that selection for increased resistance could be done under controlled conditions.

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