The impact of source or sink limitations on yield formation of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) due to post-anthesis water and nitrogen deficiencies

https://doi.org/10.17221/217/2009-PSECitation:Madani A., Shirani-Rad A., Pazoki A., Nourmohammadi G., Zarghami R., Mokhtassi-Bidgoli A. (2010): The impact of source or sink limitations on yield formation of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) due to post-anthesis water and nitrogen deficiencies. Plant Soil Environ., 56: 218-227.
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The experiments were laid out to understand the mechanisms causing yield limitations imposed by post-anthesis water and nitrogen deficiencies in plants with modified source-sink ratios. Two soil-water regimes were allotted to the main plots. At anthesis, three levels of N were applied: none, 25% and 50% of total the N supply. Spike-halving caused reduction in grain yield at both water regimes and all N supply levels, showing that the reduction in grain number can not be compensated by a higher individual grain weight. Sink reduction by trimming 50% of the spikelets reduced grain number per ear by 38.5% and increased individual grain weight by 12.0%, which shows the plasticity in grain weight and grain set of wheat if sufficient assimilates are available. Additional nitrogen supply at anthesis had no significant effect on the total aboveground biomass, but increased grain yield through more allocation of dry matter to grains. Our findings suggest that for rainfed wheat with optimum N supply and supplemental irrigation, wheat growers should choose cultivars with a high grain number per ear and manage the crop to increase grain number per unit of land (sink capacity).
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