Giunta, Francesco and Motzo, Rosella and Deidda, Mauro (2002) SPAD readings and associated leaf traits in durum wheat, barley and triticale cultivars. Euphytica, Vol. 125 (2), p. 197-205. eISSN 1573-5060. Article.
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SPAD readings may represent a useful screening criterion in breeding programs aimed at increasing the rate and duration of leaf photosynthesis. A two-year trial was conducted on 17 cultivars of durum wheat, 8 of triticale and 18 of barley at two experiment stations in Sardinia, Italy, to evaluate the existence of genetic variation for SPAD readings, and to quantify the genetic associations between SPAD readings, area per leaf blade (LA), specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC) and leaf nitrogen per unit of leaf surface (LN) in the period between beginning of tillering and flag leaf appearance. Plants were grown at sufficient nitrogen fertilization. The average SPAD reading of barley was 9–10 units lower than that of durum wheat and triticale. The combined ANOVA indicated that, in all the three species, the genotype by environment interaction variance associated with SPAD readings was lower than the genetic variance. In durum wheat and barley, SPAD readings exhibited a greater genetic variance in comparison with LNC, LN and SLA. In durum wheat and triticale, SPAD readings were genetically correlated with LN and SLA. Durum wheat differed from triticale because its genetic variation in SLA was not associated with LA. A screening based on both SPAD readings and LA values should identify lines with good photosynthetic machinery that is not associated with low area per leaf blade.
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