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Genetic improvement in agronomic and physiological traits of oat since 1914



Genetic improvement in agronomic and physiological traits of oat since 1914



Crop Science 33(5): 984-988



The breeding of oat (Avena saliva L.) cultivars in the midwestern USA has not resulted in dramatic yield increases for this crop. To determine what changes breeding of oat has brought about in agronomic and physiological traits, nine cultivars and one experimental line of oat released over the past eight decades were tested in 1987 and 1988 at the Iowa State University Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering Research Center, near Ames, IA. Grain yield, test weight, heading date, plant height, biomass, harvest index, accumulation of leaf area, plant dry weight, and crop and relative growth rates were determined. Under favorable growing conditions (1987) plant height (0.3 cm yr-1) and harvest index (0.2% yr-1) were positively correlated with year of cultivar release; under stress conditions (1988) such correlations were observed for grain yield (0.02 Mg ha-1 yr-1), test weight (1.0 Mg m-3 yr-1), and harvest index (0.3% yr-1) increased with year of cultivar release. No change occurred in either crop or relative growth rate. More recent oat cultivars had a slower rate of postanthesis leaf senescence. It was concluded that oat breeding primarily has improved the ability of oat cultivars to perform in stressful environments.

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Accession: 002390933

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