Time and duration of growth stages and subsequent grain yield in selected wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L. em Thell) Public Deposited

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  • The need to develop a shorter life cycle wheat cultivar which would be more adapted to multiple cropping systems prompted this study. Thus the following information was obtained. Greatest variations in developmental patterns were found in the stem elongation, booting, inflorescence emergence and anthesis for five winter and five spring cultivars when planted at different dates. Differences among the ten winter wheat cultivars in time, duration and rate of grain filling was also observed. Generally later flowering cultivars had a more rapid rate of grain filling than early flowering cultivars with the net result being that physiological maturity was similar between the two groups. Actual grain filling period from flowering to physiological maturity varied among the cultivars, but larger differences were observed in lag period from heading to flowering. The duration of lag period contributed to the largest difference in total grain filling period from heading to physiological maturity. Changes in visual spike color of the glumes and main axis of a spike was satisfactory in identifying physiological maturity without destruction of the spike; however changes in kernel color was a more direct and precise method. Physiological maturity is a better measure of the optimum harvesting time to provide for maximum grain yield for planting sequential crops. Grain yield was positively associated with time of heading, flowering, physiological maturity, rate of grain filling and components of grain yield, but negatively associated with duration of grain filling period, lag period and harvest index. There was little association with the duration of the actual grain filling period and grain yield. However, a large association was observed between grain yield and the rate of grain filling. The direct effects of tiller number and rate of grain filling on grain yield were consistently positive and high. The indirect effects of rate of grain filling on grain yield were positive and high via time of heading, flowering and physiological maturity, components of yield and whole plant dry weight, but negative and high via duration of grain filling period, lag period and harvest index.
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