Stem Reserves and Grain Growth in Goatgrass, Aegilops tauschii and Wheat
Wild diploid goatgrass, Aegilops tauschii Coss., is the D-genome donor to hexaploid bread wheat. Goatgrass has been crossed with tetraploid durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var. durum L.) and hexaploid bread wheat (T. aestivum L. ssp. aestivum) to broaden the genetic base of bread wheat. We examined the contribution of main stem water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and current assimilates to grain yield in one goatgrass relative to those in one durum and four cultivars of bread wheat under well-watered and droughted field conditions across two years. Drought reduced grain yield and its components. Number of tillers per plant was higher in goatgrass, but 55% of tillers produced were sterile. Number of grains per spike was lower in goatgrass. Grain weight was the component severely limiting potential yield in goatgrass. Main stem WSC and concentration was lowest in goatgrass. Linear rate of grain growth in goatgrass was 20 and 17 mg spike−1 day−1 under well-watered and droughted conditions, whereas those in durum and bread wheats ranged from 55 to 73 and from 37 to 60 mg spike−1 day−1, respectively. Current assimilates were the major source of carbon to fill the grains under both irrigation regimes. A large number of goatgrass accessions and adapted durum cultivars should be examined for grain yield and its components to identify promising accessions to be used in producing synthetics.
KeywordsTriticum aestivum current assimilates drought grain yield potential
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