Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Influence of phosphorous and lime application on root growth and grain yield of two winter wheat cultivars (Triticum Aestivum, L em thell) Public Deposited

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  • Differential grain yield response of two winter wheat cultivars ('Yamhill' and'McDermid) when grown on acid soils prompted this investigation. Root samples were taken at two soil depths at late tillering and anthesis from plots established on an acid nonpareil soil in Douglas County, Oregon. The soil pH was 5.2-5.3 and this was increased to 6.5 on the limed plots. Lime and/or phosphorous were applied in a split-split plot design. Grain yields were also obtained from each plot. A root sampling method was evaluated using soil cores. After separating the roots from the soil, they were stored in 95% ethanol until stained with Feulgens. Nuclei of live roots were differentiated by the stain. The live roots were counted and the Newman formula was used to determine root length. Yamhill had significantly greater root length than McDermid at the late tillering stage of plant development. Though cultivar differences for root length across all treatments were not statistically significant at anthesis. Yamhill tended to have more root length than McDermid, especially when phosphorous was not applied. Phosphorous was the most significant factor affecting root length both in the 0-20cm depth and in the 20-40cm depth samples. McDermid root length responded to phosphorous to a greater degree than Yamhill. In the deeper soil samples (20-40cm) lime did not contribute to increased root length. In the upper soil layer (0-20cm) it did significantly affect root length. Though neither lime nor phosphorous was incorporated into the 20-40cm depth, the phosphorous affected root length below its area of application by causing an overall increase in plant growth. Grain yield responded to lime and phosphorous application in the same manner as root length. In 1978 the correlation between grain yield and root length was r = .750 at the tillering stage and r = .880 at anthesis. The second year a value of r = .750 was obtained between root length and grain yield at the tillering stage of plant development. The root sampling technique was effective in distinguishing cultivar differences at the 0-20cm depth in the early stages of plant development. Deeper in the soil not enough roots were obtained to get an accurate assessment of cultivar root development. This technique was also an accurate method of determining root length response to lime and phosphorous applications.
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