Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Phosphorus uptake by winter wheat cultivars as related to root characteristics Public Deposited

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  • Experiments were conducted to compare differences in P uptake characteristics between two winter wheat cultivars Stephens and Yamhill (Triticum aestivum L) as related to root morphologies. Root length, root surface area and mean root radius were compared. Plant roots and shoots were separately analyzed for P content. The cultivars were grown in a growth chamber with a 16 hour light period at 22° C and an 8 hour darkness at 16° C for approximately three weeks. A growth medium deficient only in P and with a pH high enough (6.4 to 6.6) to prevent Al toxicity was prepared by mixing a silt loam and a sand. Soil P variables were established by adding phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄) to the soil at rates of 0, 25 and 100 ug P g⁻¹ soil. The root growth rates of the cultivars were exponential with time. Stephens had more rapid root growth rate, greater root length and root surface area than Yamhill. There were no significant cultivar differences in root radius. Stephens had higher root to shoot ratio than Yamhill at all phosphorus levels. Stephens grown in soil without applied phosphorus showed the highest root to shoot ratio. Phosphorus concentrations in shoot and root increased with increasing phosphorus treatment levels. Stephens tended to have higher P concentration when P was applied. Yamhill recovered more phosphorus than Stephens when phosphorus was applied. Cultivar differences in P uptake became apparent as plants grew beyond 14 days. P uptake by shoots was exponential with time at all phosphorus levels. Without applied phosphorus, however, the P uptake rates of both cultivars showed little increase with time. Root P uptake of both cultivars was linear with time at applied P. Yamhill's greater ability to recover phosphorus from soil was not explained by differences in root size or morphology because Stephens had more extensive root systems than Yamhill. Differences in mycorrhizal association, root hair length and/or density, or P uptake kinetics may contribute to Yamhill's greater ability to take up phosphorus from soil.
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