Modelling simultaneously water content and dry matter dynamics of wheat grains

S. Pepler, Michael Gooding, R. H. Ellis

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54 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

A model was devised to describe simultaneously the grain masses of water and dry matter against thermal time during grain filling and maturation of winter wheat. The model accounted for a linear increase in water mass of duration anthesis—m 1 (end of rapid water assimilation phase) and rate a , followed by a more stable water mass until m 2, after which water mass declined rapidly at rate e . Grain dry matter was described as a linear increase of rate bgf until a maximum size (maxgf) was attained at m 2. The model was fitted to plot data from weekly samples of grains taken from replicated field experiments investigating effects of grain position (apical or medial), fungicide (five contrasting treatments), sowing date (early or late), cultivar (Malacca or Shamrock) and season (2001/2002 and 2002/2003) on grain filling. The model accounted for between 83 and 99% of the variation (View the MathML source) when fitted to data from individual plots, and between 97 and 99% when fitted to treatment means. Endosperm cell number of grains from early-sown plots in the first season were also counted. Differences in maxgf between grain positions and also between cultivars were mostly the result of effects on bgf and were empirically associated with water mass at m1. Fungicide application controlled S. tritici and powdery mildew infection, delayed flag leaf senescence, increased water mass at m1 (wm1), and also increased m2, bgf and maxgf. Fungicide effects on water mass were detected before fungicide effects on dry matter, but comparison of the effects of individual fungicide treatments showed no evidence that effects on wm1, nor on endosperm cell numbers at about m1, were required for fungicide effects on maxgf.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-63
JournalField Crops Research
Volume95
Issue number1
Early online date26 Feb 2005
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jan 2006

Keywords

  • grain filling
  • wheat
  • grain water content
  • fungicide
  • sowing date
  • strobilurin
  • flag lead senescence
  • moisture content

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