Variation in dormancy duration of the UK wheat cultivar Hornet due to environmental conditions during grain development

An investigation of the effect of temperature during grain development on the length of dormancy and hence on post-maturity sprouting resistance.

Year of Publication2002

Dormancy of wheat grains, the property conferring sprouting resistance, is affected by environmental conditions experienced during grain development. We investigated the hypothesis that short dormancy duration in U.K. wheat grain (thus a high risk of post-maturity sprouting) is related to weather conditions, i.e. high temperatures during grain development. Four wheat varieties were grown at four sites ranging from the far south to the far north of the country in the years 1995–1997,ensuring different temperature and rainfall conditions during grain development. This paper focuses on one variety, Hornet, which has a high sprouting resistance rating. Other varieties gave similar results. Serial laboratory germination tests (seven days, 20°C) at 100°C-dayintervals were used to measure dormancy duration, which was assessed from logistic curves fitted to the data. During the experiment the mean temperatures during grain development differed by over4°C, due to the site × year effect. Significant effects (p>0.05) of site and year (i.e. weather) on dormancy were found, when definitions of dormancy duration of DA (number of days from anthesis to 50% germination in seven days at 20°C) or DP (number of days from physiological maturity at 45% grain moisture to 50% germination) were used. Dormancy was markedly shorter in the hot, dry year 1995 compared to the cooler, wetter years 1996 and 1997. A relationship, as postulated by Belderok, between accumulated temperature during the dough stage of grain filling and dormancy duration was not found. However, a relationship of dormancy duration to the mean temperature during grain development was found, with short dormancy periods occurring after high mean temperatures were experienced.


Lunn, G D ; Kettlewell, P S 0000-0001-9499-3629; Major, B J ; Scott, R K (2002) "Variation in dormancy duration of the UK wheat cultivar Hornet due to environmental conditions during grain development"Euphytica 126 (1) pp 89-97

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crop physiology
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