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Variation in early phosphorus-uptake efficiency among wheat genotypes grown on two contrasting Australian soils

Variation in early phosphorus-uptake efficiency among wheat genotypes grown on two contrasting Australian soils

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 59(2): 157-166

Seedlings from 198 wheat genotypes were screened in glasshouse trials for early biomass production (49 days after sowing, DAS) in a soil high in total phosphorus (P) but low in plant-available P. Fifteen hexaploid bread wheats were then examined more closely for early biomass production on 2 low-P soils: a highly P-fixing Ferrosol (1.3 mg resin-extractable P/kg) and a Red Kandosol (5.2 mg resin-extractable P/kg). The soils were either unamended for P or supplemented with sufficient P for maximum growth. Single lines of rye, triticale, and durum wheat were included for comparison. The plants were harvested at 21 and 35 DAS, and shoot biomass, root biomass, P content, and root length were measured. Shoot biomass was correlated with the P content of the seed in both unamended soils at the first harvest but only in the Ferrosol at the second harvest. There were no correlations between seed P and shoot biomass in the high-P treatments at either harvest. Genotypes were compared with one another by plotting shoot biomass from the high-P treatment against shoot biomass from the low-P treatment. Phosphorus-efficient genotypes were defined as those with relatively greater biomass at low P, while genotypes with a high biomass potential were defined as those able to accumulate relatively more biomass at high P. Two hexaploid wheats, Kukri and Vigour 18, were ranked as being P-efficient genotypes with a high biomass potential on both soils, while Halberd, CD87, and Katepwa were P-inefficient on both soils. Biomass accumulation for each genotype was compared with their root biomass, root : shoot ratio, specific root length and P-uptake efficiency. The strongest correlation across all treatments occurred between shoot biomass and root biomass. We discuss factors that may contribute to the variation in P-uptake efficiency among the genotypes.

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Accession: 022076611

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DOI: 10.1071/ar06311

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