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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378980

Research Project: Improved Winter Wheat Disease Resistance and Quality through Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Breeding

Location: Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research

Title: Coleoptile length comparison of three winter small grain cereals adapted to the Great Plains

item ALAM, MUJAHID - University Of Faisalabad
item KASHIF, MUHAMMAD - University Of Faisalabad
item EASTERLY, AMANDA - University Of Nebraska
item WANG, FANG - University Of Nebraska
item Boehm Jr, Jeffrey
item BAENZIGER, PETER - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Cereal Research Communications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2021
Publication Date: 5/20/2021
Citation: Alam, M., Kashif, M., Easterly, A.C., Wang, F., Boehm Jr, J.D., Baenziger, P.S. 2021. Coleoptile length comparison of three winter small grain cereals adapted to the Great Plains. Cereal Research Communications. AVAILABLE:

Interpretive Summary: Successful establishment of winter wheat, barley, and triticale is the first step to realizing high yields. In semi-arid regions, seeding depth and the ability of the seed to access soil water determines success. The coleoptile determines how deeply seeds can be placed in the soil by its length and ability to emerge from depth. This study was conducted to evaluate coleoptile length in wheat, barley, and triticale cultivars adapted to the Great Plains. Coleoptile length varied considerably for the winter wheat, triticale and barley cultivars evaluated. In wheat, the dwarfing genes are a good screening tool for selecting semi-dwarf material and indicates that breeding could be used to develop semi-dwarf wheats with longer coleoptiles. Breeding cultivars with longer coleoptiles is recommended to provide for deep planting in semi-arid regions. This research provides useful knowledge for developing cultivars with longer coleoptiles to allow for deeper sowing depth in the Great Plains.

Technical Abstract: Successful crop stand establishment is critical to realize high yield potential, which is dependent on depth of seed placement to access soil moisture. The coleoptile determines sowing depth by its length and ability to emerge from depth. This study was conducted to assess coleoptile length among three sets of three Great Plains winter small grain cereals -- wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and triticale (X triticosecale Wittm.) – and to evaluate the effect of the Rht-B1b dwarfing allele on coleoptile length in wheat and triticale. Fifty seeds of each genotype were sown in wet germination paper in two replications utilizing a randomized complete block design, which were placed in dark growth chambers at 25ºC. Measurements were conducted after 7 d and analysis of variance and comparison of least square means for coleoptile length among and within each set of genotypes was performed in Statistix 8.1 software using Fisher’s protected least significance difference at the a = 0.05 significance level. Results revealed that triticale had the longest coleoptiles, which were significantly longer (P < 0.05) than those measured in both barley and wheat. Additionally, significant variation in coleoptile length (P < 0.05) was also found within each set of wheat (3.52 - 6.41cm), barley (4.32 - 6.63 cm) and triticale (4.05 - 6.92 cm) genotypes, respectively. These findings confirm other reports that presence of the Rht-B1b allele was pleiotropic for coleoptile length, but development of semi-dwarf wheats with longer coleoptiles is possible if breeders deploy concurrent selection strategies.