, Volume 135, Issue 1, pp 63–73 | Cite as

Effects of a photoperiod-response gene Ppd-D1 on yield potential and drought resistance in UK winter wheat

  • M.J. Foulkes
  • R. Sylvester-Bradley
  • A.J. Worland
  • J.W. Snape


Using a pair of near-isogenic lines(NILs) of winter wheat (Triticumaestivum L.) contrasting for the Ppd-D1 and ppd-D1 alleles, in eachof Mercia and Cappelle-Desprez, experimentsin two seasons (1997/8 and 1998/9) on aloamy medium sand examined differences inflowering date, resource capture, biomassproduction and grain yield responses toirrigation. Drought did not occur for anysustained period in unirrigated conditionsin 1998 due to high seasonal rainfall. In1999, drought developed post-floweringunder unirrigated conditions. Ppd-D1on average advanced flowering by 12 days inMercia and 9 days in Cappelle-Desprez.Earlier flowering with Ppd-D1 was dueto a shorter thermal duration from cropemergence to GS31, with no effect on thethermal duration from GS31 to GS61. In bothgenetic backgrounds, Ppd-D1 decreasedabove-ground dry matter (AGDM) at harvestin irrigated conditions by 0.3–0.9 tha-1 (p< 0.05), but thiswas compensated for by increases inharvest index (HI), so that grain yield wasconserved. Although Ppd-D1 decreasedmaximum green area index (GAI) by 0.8–1.9this was countered by greater maintenanceof green area after flowering, so thatradiation interception during grain fillingwas conserved. The Ppd-D1 alleledecreased season-long crop water uptake inthe Mercia NILs in irrigated conditions by39 mm. Effects of drought in 1999,averaging across NILs, were todecrease machine-harvested grain yield by 0.6 t ha-1 in Mercia and by 1.8 tha-1 in Cappelle-Desprez (p<0.05). The Ppd-D1 and ppd-D1NILs, though, responded similarly todrought in both genetic backgrounds. Earlyflowering with Ppd-D1 decreasedpre-flowering water uptake underunirrigated conditions by ca. 25 mm,but increased post-flowering uptake by only10 mm, compared to ppd-D1. This was aresult of smaller season-long water uptakefor Ppd-D1 compared to ppd-D1.Ppd-D1 decreased stem solublecarbohydrate measured shortly afterflowering under drought by ca. 0.3 tha-1. Effects of Ppd-D1 onother drought-resistance traits, such aswater-use efficiency (WUE; AGDM per unitcrop evapotranspiration) and maximumrooting depth, appeared to be neutral. Itis concluded that the effects of the Ppd-D1 allele appeared to be largelyneutral on yield potential and late-seasondrought resistance in the UK's temperateenvironment in these genetic backgrounds.However, there were indications that Ppd-D1 may offer scope for breeding winterwheat cultivars with more efficientproduction of grain DM per unit seasonalcrop evapotranspiration, associated withimproved HI, compared to currentlycommercial UK genotypes.

drought resistance early flowering plant breeding Ppd-D1 allele winter wheat yield potential 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Austin, R.B., 1978. Actual and potential yields of wheat and barley in the United Kingdom. ADAS Quart Rev 29: 277–294.Google Scholar
  2. Austin, R.B., 1999. Yield of wheat in the United Kingdom: Recent advances and prospects. Crop Sci 39: 1604–1610.Google Scholar
  3. Börner, A., A.J. Worland, J. Plaschke, E. Schumann & C.N. Law, 1993. Pleiotropic effects of genes for reduced height (Rht) and day-length insensitivity (Ppd) on yield and its components for wheat grown in middle Europe. Plant Breeding 111: 204–216.Google Scholar
  4. Davidson, J.L., K.R. Christian, D.B. Jones & P.M. Bremner, 1985. Responses of wheat to vernalization and photoperiod. Aust J Agric Res 36: 347–359.Google Scholar
  5. Fielder, A., 1988. Interactions between variety and sowing date for winter wheat and winter barley. H-GCA Research Review No. 6.Google Scholar
  6. Fischer, R.A. & R. Maurer, 1978. Drought resistance in spring wheat cultivars. 1. Grain yield responses. Aust J Agric Res 29: 897–912.Google Scholar
  7. Foulkes, M.J., R. Sylvester-Bradley & R.K. Scott, 2001. The ability of wheat cultivars to withstand drought in UK conditions: resource capture. J Agric Sci, Cambridge 137: 1–16.Google Scholar
  8. Foulkes, M.J., R. Sylvester-Bradley & R.K. Scott, 2002. The ability of wheat cultivars to withstand drought in UK conditions: formation of grain yield. J Agric Sci, Cambridge 138: 153–169.Google Scholar
  9. Gay, A.P., D.J. Stokes, R.M. Weightman & R. Sylvester-Bradley, 1998. How to Run a Reference Crop. Home-Grown Cereals Authority Final Project Report No. 151 Volume II. HGCA, London.Google Scholar
  10. George, D.W., 1982. The growing point of fall-sown wheat: a useful measure of physiological development. Crop Sci 22: 235–239.Google Scholar
  11. Hall, D.G.M., M.J. Reeve, A.J. Thomasson & V.F. Wright, 1977. Water retention porosity, and density of field soils. Soil Survey Technical Monograph No. 9. Adlard & Sons Ltd., Dorking, England.Google Scholar
  12. Innes, P., J. Hoogendorn & R.D. Blackwell, 1985. Effects of differences in date of ear emergence and height on yield of winter wheat. J Agric Sci, Cambridge 105: 543–549.Google Scholar
  13. Kirby, E.J.M., 1992. A field study of the number of main shoot leaves in wheat in relation to vernalization and photoperiod. J Agric Sci 118: 271–278.Google Scholar
  14. Law, C.N., J.W. Snape & A.J.Worland, 1981. Intraspecific chromosome manipulation. In: The Manipulation of Genetic Systems in Plant Breeding, pp. 109–118. The Royal Society, London.Google Scholar
  15. Law, C.N., A.J. Worland, A. Borner & S. Petrovic, 1994. The utilisation of photoperiodic response genes in breeding winter wheat varieties adapted to specific European ecoclimatic conditions. Proc 8th Int Wheat Genet Symp, Beijing, pp 120-131.Google Scholar
  16. Marsh, T.J., 1996. The 1995 UK drought-A signal of climatic instability? Proc Institution of Civil Engineers-Water Maritime and Energy 118: 189–195.Google Scholar
  17. National Institute of Agricultural Botany, 1996. Cereal Variety Handbook. NIAB Recommended Lists of Cereals 1996. Plumbridge Ltd., England.Google Scholar
  18. Ortizmonasterio, J.I., S.S. Dhillon & R.A. Fischer, 1994. Date of sowing effects on grain-yield and yield components of irrigated spring wheat cultivars and relationships with radiation and temperature in Ludhiana, India. Field Crops Res 37: 169–184.Google Scholar
  19. Rawson, H.M. & R.A. Richards, 1993. Effects of high temperature and photoperiod on floral development in wheat isolines differing in vernalisation and photoperiod genes. Field Crops Res 32: 181–192.Google Scholar
  20. Saeki, T., 1960. Interrelationships between leaf amount, light distribution and total photosynthesis in a plant community. Bot Magazine, Tokyo 73: 55–63.Google Scholar
  21. Shearman, V.J., 2001. Changes in the Yield-Limiting Processes associated with Genetic Improvement in Wheat. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham, UK, 238 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Slafer, G.A. & H.M. Rawson, 1996. Responses to photoperiod change with phenophase and temperature during wheat development. Field Crops Res 44: 73–83.Google Scholar
  23. Slafer, G.A., L.G. Abeledo, D.J. Miralles, F.G. Gonzalez & E.M. Whitechurch, 2001. Photoperiod sensitivity during stem elongation as an avenue to raise yield potential in wheat. In: Z. Bedo & L. Lang (Eds.), Wheat in a Global Environment, pp. 487-496.Google Scholar
  24. Snape, J., K. Butterworth, E. Whitechurch & A.J. Worland, 2000. Waiting for fine times: genetics of flowering time in wheat. In: Z. Bedo & L. Lang (Eds.), Wheat in a Blobal Environment, pp. 67-74.Google Scholar
  25. Spink, J.H., E.J.M. Kirby, D.L. Frost, R. Sylvester-Bradley, R.K. Scott, M.J. Foulkes, R.W. Clare & E.J. Evans, 2000. Agronomic implications of variation in wheat development due to variety, sowing date and season. Plant Var and Seeds 13: 91–105.Google Scholar
  26. Tottman, D.R., 1987. The decimal code for growth stages of cereals with illustrations. Annals Appl Biol 110: 441–454.Google Scholar
  27. Worland, A.J., 1996. The influence of flowering time genes on environmental adaptability in European wheats. Euphytica 89: 49–57.Google Scholar
  28. Worland, A.J., M.L. Appendino & E.J. Sayers, 1994. The distribution, in European winter wheats, of genes that influence ecoclimatic adaptability whilst determining photoperiodic insensitivity and plant height. Euphytica 80: 219–228.Google Scholar
  29. Worland, A.J., A. Börner & V. Korzun, 1998. The influence of photoperiod genes on the adaptability of European winter wheats. Euphytica 100: 385–394.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.J. Foulkes
  • R. Sylvester-Bradley
  • A.J. Worland
  • J.W. Snape

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations