Genotype and environment variation in elemental composition of spring wheat flag leaves

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Genotypes within species have been reported to vary in tissue elemental concentration even though this variation is seldom quantified. A survey was conducted to determine the degree of variability of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em thell.) genotypes across multiple environments. Flag leaves were sampled on the same day when the genotypes were at or slightly beyond Haun growth stage 11.0 (heading) and quantified for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, B, Cl, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn. Flag leaf tissue concentration differed among genotype and environment, and the genotype × environment (G×E) interaction was significant except for flag leaf Cu and Fe concentration. The significant G×E interaction indicated genotype response in tissue concentration that was greater or less than the average of all genotypes at a given environment. There was no genotype that greater or less than average across environments for all elemental concentrations. Yield was poorly correlated to the average concentration of individual elements across genotypes and environments. The best correlation was found between yield and flag leaf concentration of Cl. Variation in concentration of elements in flag leaves were explained by temperature, precipitation, and the crop maturity at sampling. Very little variability, except for S, could be explained by soil tests (0-15 cm) taken at the time of tissue sampling. A single sufficiency range for nutrient composition of plant parts may be inadequate for use across genotypes and a significant degree of variability may be the result of factors that cannot be controlled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-336
Number of pages13
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

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Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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