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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #384913

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Cropping Systems of Alfalfa for Livestock Utilization, Environmental Protection and Soil Health

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Wheat and oat stem bending differences validated through multiscale analysis to inform lodging resistance

item GANGWAR, TARUN - University Of Minnesota
item SUSKO, ALEXANDER - University Of Minnesota
item BARANOVA, SVETLANA - University Of Minnesota
item GUALA, MICHELE - University Of Minnesota
item SMITH, KEVIN - University Of Minnesota
item Heuschele, Deborah - Jo

Submitted to: Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/25/2022
Publication Date: 1/4/2023
Citation: Gangwar, T., Susko, A., Baranova, S., Guala, M., Smith, K.P., Heuschele, D.J. 2023. Wheat and oat stem bending differences validated through multiscale analysis to inform lodging resistance. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 10(1). Article No. 221410.

Interpretive Summary: Lodging, the act of a plant falling over, reduces yield and grain quality in small grains by 30 %. The ability of a plant to remain upright during a storm is linked how the plant stem responds to wind and rain; it can either resist or bend with the wind. This study found that stems that bend more in the wind are able to resist lodging and identified multiple groups of traits that can be used in breeding for lodging resistant oat and wheat. The interdisciplinary method between engineers and biologist used to identify theses traits could be used to understand the relationships between other complex systems.

Technical Abstract: Lodging impedes the successful cultivation of cereal crops in the Midwestern United States. Conventional cereal breeding methods rely on visual inspections or correlated traits on large breeding populations in the field to improve lodging resistance. However correlations between measurable traits and lodging are often unreliable, along with environmental lodging pressures. Reasons include the complex anatomy and morphology of cereals at multiple length scales and the complicated interaction of the traits that contribute to lodging. In this article, we present a unique approach to understand the origin of lodging behavior of wheat and oat from a wind tunnel experiment and an independent, multiscale material model supported finite element simulations viewpoint. We investigate the relative differences in bothcereals’ stem bending and failure behavior in the controlled wind tunnel experimental setting. Using a recently developed, hierarchical micro-structure driven multiscale material model, we build and validate an independent finite element simulation framework to predict and validate the stem bending and failure behavior of wheat and oat stems from an independent wind tunnel experiment. Our comprehensive simulation framework enables us to understand the causal relationship of the stem behavior with the physical traits at different length scales, supporting the breeding of lodging resilient wheat and oat. This article also hints at the importance of collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches in the cereals lodging research.