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Crop Science Abstract -

Phenological Response of Pea to Water Stress during Reproductive Development


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 141-146
    Received: Dec 28, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. B. New ,
  2. C. Duthion and
  3. O. Turc
  1. I.N.R.A., Unité d'Ecophysiologie et d'Agronomie, 2 Place Viala, 34060 MONTPELLIER Cedex 1, France



Drought stress affects yield of indeterminate species, but the effects on yield components, seed number, and individual seed weight at harvest are, in some cases, contradictory. The diversity of effects can result from the complex sequential development of these plants with respect to timing of drought. Two experiments were carried out in a glasshouse to study the effect of short-term drought (about 6 d) during different periods of reproductive development on the phenology of pea (Pisum sativum L.) cv Solara, and on seed abortion and seed growth rate at each nodal location on the stem. An additional experiment was carried out in the field. Short-term stresses did not change development except for the progression of flowering along the stem which was stopped prematurely. The duration of the lag-phase between flowering and initiation of seed filling, and the duration of seed filling, were not affected at any nodal position. Analysis of the distribution of seeds along the stem suggested that the final stage at which seed abortion occurred corresponded approximately to the initiation of linear seed filling. Seeds that reached this stage before the stress was imposed never aborted and their growth was maintained. Seed abortion in lag-phase was dependent on the intensity of drought. If the stress was imposed when all the seeds were filling, no abortion occurred and seed growth rates were maintained by mobilization of plant reserves. The results suggest that the plant responded to drought by reducing seed number when possible or mobilizing its reserves to maintain a constant seed growth rate.

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