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Natural variation in photosynthetic capacity, growth, and yield in 64 field-grown wheat genotypes

Driever, SM and Lawson, T and Andralojc, PJ and Raines, CA and Parry, MAJ (2014) 'Natural variation in photosynthetic capacity, growth, and yield in 64 field-grown wheat genotypes.' Journal of Experimental Botany, 65 (17). 4959 - 4973. ISSN 0022-0957

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Abstract

Increasing photosynthesis in wheat has been identified as an approach to enhance crop yield, with manipulation of key genes involved in electron transport and the Calvin cycle as one avenue currently being explored. However, natural variation in photosynthetic capacity is a currently unexploited genetic resource for potential crop improvement. Using gas-exchange analysis and protein analysis, the existing natural variation in photosynthetic capacity in a diverse panel of 64 elite wheat cultivars grown in the field was examined relative to growth traits, including biomass and harvest index. Significant variations in photosynthetic capacity, biomass, and yield were observed, although no consistent correlation was found between photosynthetic capacity of the flag leaf and grain yield when all cultivars were compared. The majority of the variation in photosynthesis could be explained by components related to maximum capacity and operational rates of CO2 assimilation, and to CO2 diffusion. Cluster analysis revealed that cultivars may have been bred unintentionally for desirable traits at the expense of photosynthetic capacity. These findings suggest that there is significant underutilized photosynthetic capacity among existing wheat varieties. Our observations are discussed in the context of exploiting existing natural variation in physiological processes for the improvement of photosynthesis in wheat. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Biological Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2015 16:46
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 01:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12812

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