Genotype and fungicide effects on late-season root growth of winter wheat

K. E. Ford, P. J. Gregory, M. J. Gooding, S. Pepler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to investigate differences among genotypes in post-anthesis root growth and distribution of modern UK winter wheat cultivars, and the effects of fungicide applications. Post-anthesis root growth of up to six cultivars of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), given either one or three applications of fungicide, was studied in field experiments during two seasons. Total root mass remained unchanged between GS63 (anthesis) and GS85, but root length increased significantly from 14.7 to 31.4 km m−2 in one season. Overall, there was no evidence for a decline in either root mass or length during grain filling. Root mass as a proportion of total plant mass was about 0.05 at GS85. There were significant differences among cultivars in root length and mass especially below 30 cm. Malacca had the smallest root length and Savannah the largest, and Shamrock had a significantly larger root system below 40 cm in both seasons. Fungicide applied at ear emergence had no significant effect on root mass in either season but increased root length (P<0.01) in the more disease-prone season. By maintaining a green canopy for longer, fungicide applied at flag leaf emergence may have resulted in delayed senescence of the root system and contributed to the post-anthesis maintenance of root mass and length
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2006


  • fungicide
  • root length
  • root mass
  • triticum aestivum
  • winter wheat


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