Semi-dwarfing (Rht-B1b) improves nitrogen-use efficiency in wheat, but not at economically optimal levels of nitrogen availability
Loddo, S. and Gooding, M. (2012) Semi-dwarfing (Rht-B1b) improves nitrogen-use efficiency in wheat, but not at economically optimal levels of nitrogen availability. Cereal Research Communications, 40 (1). pp. 116-121. ISSN 1788-9170
To link to this article DOI: 10.1556/CRC.40.2012.1.13
A UK field experiment compared a complete factorial combination of three backgrounds (cvs Mercia, Maris Huntsman and Maris Widgeon), three alleles at the Rht-B1 locus as Near Isogenic Lines (NILs: rht-B1a (tall), Rht-B1b (semi-dwarf), Rht-B1c (severe dwarf)) and four nitrogen (N) fertilizer application rates (0, 100, 200 and 350 kg N/ha). Linear+exponential functions were fitted to grain yield (GY) and nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE; GY/available N) responses to N rate. Averaged over N rate and background Rht-B1b conferred significantly (P<0.05) greater GY, NUE, N uptake efficiency (NUpE; N in above ground crop / available N) and N utilization efficiency (NUtEg; GY / N in above ground crop) compared with rht-B1a and Rht-B1c. However the economically optimal N rate (Nopt) for N:grain price ratios of 3.5:1 to 10:1 were also greater for Rht-B1b, and because NUE, NUpE and NUtE all declined with N rate, Rht-Blb failed to increase NUE or its components at Nopt. The adoption of semi-dwarf lines in temperate and humid regions, and the greater N rates that such adoption justifies economically, greatly increases land-use efficiency, but not necessarily, NUE.