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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Developmental Sequences for Simulating Crop Phenology for Water-Limiting Conditions

Authors
item McMaster, Gregory
item Wilhelm, Wallace
item Frank, A - RETIRED ARS

Submitted to: Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2005
Publication Date: November 1, 2005
Citation: Mcmaster, G.S., Wilhelm, W.W., Frank, A.B. 2005. Developmental sequences for simulating crop phenology for water-limiting conditions. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, Special Issue. Vol. 56, Issue 11.

Interpretive Summary: Phenological responses are one of many diverse adaptations of plants to limited soil water. Often plants change when they reach a growth stage to avoid periods of extreme water stress, and this response is an important component of breeding programs. Understanding and predicting how plants respond phenologically to varying levels of soil water is also important in improving the efficacy of management practices. However, the complete developmental sequence of the shoot apex has rarely been synthesized and correlated with phenological growth stages. Also, the effect of water-limiting conditions on crop phenology and shoot apex development is variable. The objective of this paper is to present the complete developmental sequence of the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) shoot apices and correlate these developmental sequences with growth stages for both well-watered and water-limiting conditions. This is needed for a computer program being developed, called Phenology MMS, intended to simulate the phenology of multiple crops. The fact that plants tend to develop in an orderly and predictable pattern allows for a general foundation to synthesize the complete developmental sequence of the shoot apex and correlate this with phenological growth stages for all crops when water is not limiting. These diagrams are intended as a foundation to build upon in quantifying our understanding of crop phenology under water-limiting environments.

Technical Abstract: Phenological responses are one of many diverse adaptations of plants to limited soil water. Understanding and predicting how plants respond phenologically to varying levels of soil water is important in improving the efficacy of management practices. However, the complete developmental sequence of the shoot apex has rarely been synthesized and correlated with phenological growth stages. Also, the effect of water-limiting conditions on crop phenology and shoot apex development is variable. The objective of this paper is to present the complete developmental sequence of the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) shoot apices and correlate these developmental sequences with growth stages for both well-watered and water-limiting conditions. This is needed for a computer program being developed, called Phenology MMS, intended to simulate the phenology of multiple crops. We note three different scales of phenological responses to varying levels of limiting soil water: among crops, among cultivars of a crop, and among growth stages within a cultivar/crop. Clearly the genotype by environment interaction affects the accuracy of simulating phenology, however, the fact that plants tend to develop in an orderly and predictable pattern allows for a general foundation to synthesize the complete developmental sequence of the shoot apex and correlate this with phenological growth stages when water is not limiting. These diagrams are intended as a foundation to build upon in quantifying our understanding of crop phenology under water-limiting environments.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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