Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 231–237 | Cite as

Genetic variation in the efficiency of nitrogen utilization and photosynthetic activity of flag leaves among the old and modern germplasm of winter wheat

  • Andrzej G. Górny
  • Sebastian Garczyński
  • Zofia Banaszak
  • Bogusława Ługowska
Short Communication


Genotypic variation in major components of the efficiency of nitrogen utilization and photosynthetic activity of flag leaves among old (released 1881–1963) and modern (released 1969–2003) cultivars of winter wheat was studied in field conditions under varied N fertilization levels (110, 90 and 80 kg N ha−1). Significant genotypic differences were observed for all characters. Their heritabilities ranged from 0.37 to 0.93 and were the lowest for the leaf efficiency of gas exchange, photosynthetic rate, straw N content and the economic index of N utilization efficiency (NUE). Some modern cultivars exhibited an enhanced tolerance to N shortage and several attributes of efficient N utilization (e.g. later senescing and more photosynthetically active flag leaves, increased ability to redistribute N into grains). The genotypes may serve as donors of appropriate characteristics for breeding. The observed cultivar-by-fertilization interactions suggest, however, that evaluations under diverse fertilization regimes may be necessary when searching for improved wheat efficiency and adaptation to less favourable environments.


adaptation genetic variation leaf photosynthesis nitrogen shortage utilization efficiency winter wheat 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Annicchiarico P, 2002. Genotype × environment interactions: Challenges and opportunities for plant breeding and cultivar recommendations. Series: FAO Plant Production and Protection Papers 174: 126.Google Scholar
  2. Austin RB, 1989. Genetic variation in photosynthesis. J Agric Sci 112: 287–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carver B, Johnson RC, Lane Rayburn A, 1989. Genetic analysis of photosynthetic variation in hexaploid and tetraploid wheat and their interspecific hybrids. Photos Res 20: 105–118.Google Scholar
  4. Ceccarelli S, Grando S, Impiglia A, 1998. Choice of selection strategy in breeding barley for stress environments. Euphytica 103: 307–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Czembor HJ, 1989. Conditions and prospects of plant breeding in Poland. Biul IHAR 171/172: 5–14.Google Scholar
  6. Del Blanco IA, Rajaram S, Kronstad WE, Reynolds MP, 2000. Physiological performance of synthetic hexaploid wheat-derived populations. Crop Sci 40: 1257–1263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ehdaie B, Waines JG, 1996. Genetic variation for contribution of preanthesis assimilates to grain yield in spring wheat. J Genet Breed 50: 47–56.Google Scholar
  8. Ehdaie B, Shakiba MR, Waines JG, 1999. Path analysis of genotype environment interactions of wheats to nitrogen. Agronomie 19: 45–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Evans JR, 1989. Photosynthesis and nitrogen relationships in leaves of C3 plants. Oecologia 78: 9–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Górny AG, 1996. Genetic variation in the response of winter wheat to low level of nitrogen and phosphorus supply. Plant Breeding and Seed Sci 40: 125–130.Google Scholar
  11. Górny AG, 2001. Variation in utilization efficiency and tolerance to reduced water and nitrogen supply among wild and cultivated barleys. Euphytica 117: 59–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Górny AG, Patyna H, Sodkiewicz T, 1994. Evaluation of the genetic variation in root morphology among winter wheat cultivars under various conditions. Genet Pol 35: 299–306.Google Scholar
  13. Górny AG, Garczyński S, 2002. Genotypic and nutrition-dependent variation in water use efficiency and photosynthetic activity of leaves in winter wheat. J Appl Genet 43: 145–160.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Lawlor DW, 2002. Carbon and nitrogen assimilation in relation to yield: mechanisms are the key to under-standing production systems. J Exp Botany 53: 773–787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ma BL, Dwyer LM, 1998. Nitrogen uptake and use of two contrasting maize hybrids differing in leaf senescence. Plant and Soil 199: 283–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Malepszy S, 1992. Directions in plant genetics and breeding, whose realization should facilitate progress in modern agricultural production (in Polish). Postępy Nauk Roln 39: 15–19.Google Scholar
  17. Malik TA, Wright D, Virk DS, 1999. Inheritance of net photosynthesis and transpiration efficiency in spring wheat,Triticum aestivum L., under drought. Plant Breeding 118: 93–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mendel M, Górny AG, 1996. Genotypic variation in response to iso-osmotic and soil moisture stresses among old and modern cultivars of winter wheat. J Appl Genet 37: 49–63.Google Scholar
  19. Moll RH, Kamprath EJ, Jackson WA, 1982. Analysis and interpretation of factors which contribute to efficiency of nitrogen utilization. Agronomy J 74: 562–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Oracka T, Ciepły J, Kozdój J, 2000. Genetic variability in mineral elements utilisation efficiency in spring wheat under different mineral element regimes. Plant Breed Seed Sci 40: 15–24.Google Scholar
  21. Paul MJ, Foyer CH, 2001. Sink regulation of photosynthesis. J Exp Botany 52: 1383–1400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sattelmacher B, Horst WJ, Becker HC, 1994. Factors that contribute to genetic variation for nutrient efficiency of crop plants. Z Pflanzenernhr Bodenk 157: 215–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Siddiqi MY, Glass ADM, 1981. Utilization index: a modified approach to the estimation and comparison of nutrient utilization efficiency in plants. J Plant Nutrition 4: 289–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Simón MR, 1994. Gene action and heritability for photosynthetic activity in two wheat crosses. Euphytica 76: 235–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Starck Z, 1995. Response of plants to unfavourable environmental conditions in respect of source-sink relationships (in Polish). Postępy Nauk Roln 3: 19–35.Google Scholar
  26. Starck Z, 2001. Integration mechanism between photosynthesis and biomass distribution under stress conditions. Proc. 4th Int. Confer. ‘Ecophysiological Aspects of Plant Responses to Stress Factors’, Sept. 2001, Kraków. Acta Physiol Plant 23/3: 14–15.Google Scholar
  27. Wojcieska U, 1994. The physiological role of nitrogen in yield formation. II. Nitrogen nutrition and photosynthesis, photorespiration and dark respiration (in Polish). Postępy Nauk Rol 1: 127–143.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej G. Górny
    • 1
  • Sebastian Garczyński
    • 1
  • Zofia Banaszak
    • 2
  • Bogusława Ługowska
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Plant GeneticsPolish Academy of SciencesPoznańPoland
  2. 2.Danko Plant Breeding Ltd.ChoryńPoland

Personalised recommendations