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Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 69 - 77

Relationship Between Flag Leaf Senescence and Grain Yield in Durum Wheat Grown under Drought Conditions

M. Hafsi, A. Hadji, A. Guendouz and K. Maamari    

Abstract: Reflectance was assessed along a line drawn from the basal part to the tip of the leaf, using the ‘line profile’ command of IPP software. Measurements were taken at twelve dates, expressed in sums of temperatures (Δt) in degree-days after flowering. A highly significant correlation was noted between transmittance and Numerical image analysis (NIA) values averaged across cultivars (r = 0.998, p<0.001). The linear adjustment of the function associating senescence, measured by (NIA) and transmittance to thermal time was also highly significant (r = 0.938, p<0.001 and r = 0.931, p<0.001 for NIA and transmittance measurements, respectively) justifying the calculation of the average velocity of senescence (Va). In the case of NIA measurements, the lowest Sa values were noted for Mexicali and Altar. Some cultivars as Mexicali and Waha had similar Vmax, but highly differed for Σ50. A highly significant correlation was noted between Va and Sa calculated from transmittance data. A significant positive correlation was observed between Σ50 estimated by NIA and grain yield indicating that the stage when senescent area covered half of the flag leaf blade occurred later in cultivars that yielded more under drought. No correlation was noted between senescence parameters (assessed either by NIA and transmittance) and thousand kernel weight or grain growth rate. Negative (and in some cases significant) relationships were noted between 200 and 400 degree-days after flowering. In the case of the transmittance method, only the measurement made at 272°C days showed a significant positive relationship with yield.

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