Ash content might predict carbon isotope discrimination and grain yield in durum wheat

Authors

  • Othmane Merah,

    1. Institut de Biotechnologie des Plantes, UMR 8618, Université de Paris-Sud, Centre d’Orsay, Bat 630, F-91405-Orsay Cedex, France;
    2. UFR de Génétique et Amélioration des Plantes, ENSA-INRA, Bât. 33, 2 place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier Cedex, France
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  • Eliane Deléens,

    1. Institut de Biotechnologie des Plantes, UMR 8618, Université de Paris-Sud, Centre d’Orsay, Bat 630, F-91405-Orsay Cedex, France;
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  • Irenée Souyris,

    1. UFR de Génétique et Amélioration des Plantes, ENSA-INRA, Bât. 33, 2 place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier Cedex, France
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  • Philippe Monneveux

    1. UFR de Génétique et Amélioration des Plantes, ENSA-INRA, Bât. 33, 2 place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier Cedex, France
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Author for correspondence: O. Merah Tel: +33 4 99 61 23 87 Fax: +33 4 67 04 54 15 Email:merah@ensam.inra.fr

Abstract

  • • Dry mass per unit of leaf area (LDM) and ash content were evaluated as alternative criteria for carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) in durum wheat (Triticum durum) flag leaves and grains.
  • • Using correlation analysis the relationships between the three parameters (LDM, Δ, ash content) and productivity were determined over three consecutive years in 37 field-grown durum wheat genotypes under contrasting drought conditions.
  • • Highly significant differences were found between years and among genotypes for all measured traits. Grain Δ and ash content, and LDM and flag leaf Δ were negatively correlated under nondroughted conditions. Positive correlations were found between grain yield, harvest index and both Δ and ash content of the flag leaf under drought. No significant correlations were found between LDM and both Δ and grain yield.
  • • Differences in LDM do not predict variations in Δ, whereas ash content of grain and flag leaf (under droughted conditions) might be useful in predicting Δ and grain yield. Ash content might provide an alternative screening method in the improvement of drought tolerance and yield stability in durum wheat.

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