J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2014, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (5): 492-504.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12148

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Physiological traits contributed to the recent increase in yield potential of winter wheat from Henan Province, China

Bangwei Zhou1,2, Álvaro Sanz-Sóez1,3*, Abdelhalim Elazab1, Tianmin Shen2, Rut Sónchez-Bragado1, Jordi Bort1, Maria Dolors Serret1 and José Luis Araus1   

  1. 1Unitat de Fisiologia Vegetal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    2Henan Tianmin Seed Company Ltd, Lankao County, Henan, China
    3Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, United States of America
  • Received:2013-11-21 Accepted:2013-12-12 Published:2014-05-01
  • About author:*Corresponding author: E-mail: alvaro_ssj@hotmail.com


This experiment aims to test the traits responsible for the increase in yield potential of winter wheat released in Henan Province, China. Seven established cultivars released in the last 20 years and three advanced lines were assayed. The results showed that grain yield was positively correlated with harvest index (HI), kernel number per square meter, and aboveground biomass. In addition, the HI and aboveground biomass showed an increasing trend with the year of release. Therefore, we can conclude that bread wheat breeding advances during recent decades in Henan Province, China, have been achieved through an increase in HI, kernel number per square meter, and aboveground biomass. A higher δ13C seems also to be involved in these advances, which suggests a progressive improvement in constitutive water use efficiency not associated with a trend towards lower stomatal conductance in the most recent genotypes. However, genetic advance does not appear related to changes in photosynthesis rates on area basis when measured in the flag leaf or the spike, but only to a higher, whole-spike photosynthesis. Results also indirectly support the concept that under potential yield conditions, the spike contributed more than the flag leaf to kernel formation.


Key words: Carbon isotopes, grain yield, net carbon exchange, nitrogen content, yield potential

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