, Volume 109, Issue 8, pp 1632-1640
Date: 15 Sep 2004

Environment characterisation for the interpretation of environmental effect and genotype × environment interaction

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Abstract

Increasing attention is being paid to environment characterisation as a means of identifying the environmental factors determining grain protein content (GPC) in durum wheat. New insights in crop physiology and agronomy have led to the development of crop simulation models. Those models can reconstruct plant development for past cropping seasons. One major advantage of these models is that they can also indicate the intensity of limiting factors affecting plants during particular developmental stages. The main environmental factors determining GPC in durum wheat can be investigated by introducing the intensity of limiting factors into genotype × environment (G×E) models. In our case, limiting factors corresponding to water deficit and nitrogen availability were calculated for the development period between booting and heading. These variables were then introduced into a clustering model. This model is an extension of factorial regression applied to discrete environment and genotypic variables. This procedure effectively described the environment main effect: around 30.9% of the sum of squares of the environment main effect was accounted for, using less than 33% of the degrees of freedom. It also partially accounted for G×E interaction. Our methodology, coupling the use of crop simulation and G×E analysis models, is of potential value for improving our understanding of the main development stages and identification of environmental limiting factors for the development of GPC.

Communicated by H.C. Becker