Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 66, Issue 8, pp 1727–1760 | Cite as

Comparative assessment of einkorn and emmer wheat phenomes: III. Phenology

  • Abdullah A. JaradatEmail author
Research Article


In-depth information on plant phenology of einkorn (Triticum monococcum L. subsp. monococcum) and emmer, (Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccun (Schrank) Thell) germplasm is indispensable for better utilization of their available genetic resources as underutilized crops, especially under abiotic stress. Whereas; optimization of their phenology is one of the most effective strategies to achieve this goal as it is a key factor for crop adaptation under abiotic stress. The objectives of this study were to integrate quantitative phenotyping methods to describe and explain phenotypic and genotypic differences or similarities in phenological stages within vegetative and reproductive growth phases between einkorn and emmer germplasm; identify combinations of discriminating traits between einkorn and emmer germplasm at successive phenological growth stages; and estimate multivariate distances between einkorn and emmer germplasm based on their geographical sources and stage of genetic improvement. The evaluated germplasm represented a wide range of geographical origins in the Fertile Crescent of West Asia, East Africa, West and East Europe, and North America. The study developed a method for accurate estimation of synchrony and duration of phenological growth stages of the diverse germplasm; and presented a ‘sliding’ scale capable of discriminating between different ‘maturity classes’ of the species on the basis of five phenology indicators, vis: growing degree days in conjunction with plant height, normalized difference vegetative index, color space coordinates, and green gradient-based canopy segmentation. Reliable relationship was established between visual scoring and color measurements of plants based on digital images at different growth stages. This relationship may become useful for research and crop management in resource-limited areas. Accurate prediction of phenological growth stages of einkorn and emmer wheat is essential, not only for ideotype development through simulation and modeling of weather and management effects, but also to help establish a cottage industry to benefit small-scale farmers, and to improve and maintain high-quality end products from these underutilized wheat genetic resources.


Hulled wheats Growth phases Growth stages Phenological indicators 



Green (negative)–Reddish (positive) color space coordinate


Blueish (negative)–Yellowish (positive) color space coordinate


Boosted trees


Confirmatory factor analysis


Carbon-to-nitrogen ratio


Combined color space coordinates


Apparent soil electrical conductivity (dS m−1)


Early growth vigor


Genotypic coefficient of variation


Thermal time in growing degree days


Grain filling period


Early stem elongation stage


Late stem elongation stage


Booting stage


Heading stage


Anthesis stage


Physiological maturity stage


Grain yield index


Narrow-sense heritability estimate


Dark (zero)–White (100) color space coordinate


Color space coordinates (i.e., combined estimates of L, a, and b, above)


Multi-dimensional scaling


Normalized difference vegetation index


Plant genetic resources


Plant height


Photothermal quotient


Principal component


Phenotypic coefficient of variation


Partial least squares regression


Red, green, blue light spectrum


Reduced major axis


Radiation use efficiency (g MJ−1)


Senescence index


Soil plant area development


Stay green


Support vector machine



This research was supported by USDA Project Number 5060-21220-005-D. Thanks are due to support staff at the North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab., Morris, MN. USDA is an equal-opportunity provider and employer.


This study was funded by USDA Project Number: 5060-21220-005-D.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USDA-ARSMorrisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agronomy and Plant GeneticsUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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