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Physiological responses of lupin genotypes to terminal drought in a Mediterranean-type environment

Palta, J.; Turner, N.; French, R.; Buirchell, B.

Tests of agrochemicals and cultivars 150(3): 269-279

2007


DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2007.00140.x
Accession: 013462820

Field experiments concerning lupin grown in a low-rainfall environment of the Mediterranean climatic region of Western Australia were conducted over three seasons to identify and evaluate the characteristics that maximise yield per unit of rainfall. The characteristics of early flowering and podding, high pod retention, fast rates of seed filling, osmotic adjustment and the degree of dry matter transfer from stem to the seed were studied in 12 lupin genotypes differing in seed yield under conditions of terminal drought. To allow recently released cultivars and advanced breeding lines to be evaluated, five to six genotypes were included in the first and the third year and nine in the second year. The genotypes were grown rainfed until pod set and then under a rainout shelter. Flowering and podding dates, pod retention, seed growth rate and osmotic adjustment were measured in detail, together with leaf water potential, seed yield and its components. The timing and intensity of development of the terminal drought varied from average in 1998 and 1999 to extreme in 2000. In each year, the seed yield under terminal drought showed genotypic differences, which appeared consistent with the timing and intensity of the development of terminal drought. Early flowering and podding were significantly correlated with seed yield. Fast rates of seed growth were highly and significantly correlated with high yields regardless of the intensity of development of terminal drought. Pod retention was highly correlated with yield in seasons in which the intensity of the development of terminal drought was average but not under extreme conditions of terminal drought. This was because the seed number per pod was markedly reduced to compensate for the high number of pods retained. Osmotic adjustment did not occur during the development of terminal drought in any of the genotypes. Dry matter transfer from stems to seeds was insignificant and not related to seed yield, suggesting that it is not a useful characteristic in screening for high yield under terminal drought.

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