Source capacity during flowering affects grain yield of amaranth (Amaranthus sp.)

https://doi.org/10.17221/528/2013-PSECitation:Roitner-Schobesberger B., Kaul H.-. (2013): Source capacity during flowering affects grain yield of amaranth (Amaranthus sp.). Plant Soil Environ., 59: 472-477.
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Amaranth is a promising C4-crop. However, for a wider spread of the crop a better understanding of factors that are influencing yield formation is crucial for optimizing the plant phenotype and enhancing yield. The present study wanted to clarify the effects of assimilate sources and sinks on yield formation by artificially altering source or sink size. Field experiments were conducted in Eastern Austria during three years with three genotypes, applying source-sink manipulation treatments at mid flowering (control, 50% of inflorescence removed, 50% or 100% of leaves removed). At maturity we measured shoot, inflorescence and grain dry matter, thousand kernel mass and number of seeds per plant. An average grain yield level of about 3.5 t/ha dry matter on control plots indicated favorable growth conditions for amaranth in general. The removal of all leaves had a strong detrimental effect on all parameters, but severity of yield reduction due to defoliation differed between genotypes, ranging from –49% to –73%. Contrastingly, 50% flower reduction did not have any significant effects. Also with 50% defoliation no significant yield reduction was observed. We conclude that source strength of amaranth during flowering is more yield limiting than its sink capacity.

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