Sensitivity of Winter Wheat Phyllochron to Environmental Changes
The effect of environment changes on the rate of leaf emergence in wheat(Triticum aestivum L .) must be understood to accurately simulate the development of the crop canopy. We determined the phyllochron for ‘Stephens’ winter wheat plants in growth chambers at two constant temperatures (10 and1 8 °C) at a daylength of 14 h and at two constant daylengths ( 8 and 18 h) at a temperature of 20 °C, and for plants transferred between the two temperature sand between the two daylengtha at the first-, second-, third-, and fourth- leaf stages. The phyllochron of all plants transferred from low to high temperature increased to that of plants kept continually at the high temperature. The phyllochron of plants transferred from high to low temperature at the one-leaf stage was identical with the phyllochron of plants kept continually at the low temperature, but was intermediate between that of the high and low temperatures for transfers at the second-, third-, or fourth-leafs tage. The phyllochron of plants transferred from short to long days decreased to values identical to those plants kept continually at the long daylength. The phyllochron of all plants transferred from long to short daylengths increased to values equal to or greater than that of plants kept continually at the short daylengths.Thus, plants adapted to either temperature or daylengths environments that favor rapid leaf emergence in real time had less capacity to utilize a less favorable environment for leaf growth than plants that were kept continually in the less favorable environment. The results help explain why the phyllochron is often constant for a particular field planting where plants are subject to seasonal changes in temperature and daylength.
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