Dryland wheat domestication changed the development of aboveground architecture for a well-structured canopy.

Li, P.-F., Cheng, Z., Ma, B.-L., Palta, J.A., Kong, H.-Y., Mo, F., Wang, J.-Y., Zhu, Y., Lv, G.-C., Batool, A., Bai, X., Li, F.-M., and Xiong, Y-C. (2014). "Dryland wheat domestication changed the development of aboveground architecture for a well-structured canopy.", PLoS ONE, 9(9: Article e95825). doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0095825  Access to full text

Abstract

We examined three different-ploidy wheat species to elucidate the development of aboveground architecture and its domesticated mechanism under environment-controlled field conditions. Architecture parameters including leaf, stem, spike and canopy morphology were measured together with biomass allocation, leaf net photosynthetic rate and instantaneous water use efficiency (WUEi). Canopy biomass density was decreased from diploid to tetraploid wheat, but increased to maximum in hexaploid wheat. Population yield in hexaploid wheat was higher than in diploid wheat, but the population fitness and individual competition ability was higher in diploid wheats. Plant architecture was modified from a compact type in diploid wheats to an incompact type in tetraploid wheats, and then to a more compact type of hexaploid wheats. Biomass accumulation, population yield, harvest index and the seed to leaf ratio increased from diploid to tetraploid and hexaploid, associated with heavier specific internode weight and greater canopy biomass density in hexaploid and tetraploid than in diploid wheat. Leaf photosynthetic rate and WUEi were decreased from diploid to tetraploid and increased from tetraploid to hexaploid due to more compact leaf type in hexaploid and diploid than in tetraploid. Grain yield formation and WUEi were closely associated with spatial stance of leaves and stems. We conclude that the ideotype of dryland wheats could be based on spatial reconstruction of leaf type and further exertion of leaf photosynthetic rate.

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