Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Plant and Soil Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. David Van Sanford

Abstract

The complex interaction of genetics, environment and management in determination of crop yields can interfere with selection progress in breeding programs. Specifically, the impact on selection for nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under changing climatic conditions can be confounded by these interactions. Temperature increases for the southeastern United States are projected to range from 1-3°C by 2050 with nighttime temperatures increasing more rapidly than day temperatures. High temperatures are known to affect crop development and breeding for tolerance to heat stress is difficult to achieve in field environments. We utilized a multi-environment trial to assess variation in traits associated with NUE based on interactions of genotype x environment x management (G×E×M). All genotypes in the study responded favorably to lower than recommended nitrogen rates. Incremental application of N rates increased yield and post-anthesis N uptake significantly. Additionally, two multi-year studies investigating the effects of heat stress on soft red winter wheat varieties were conducted during the 2015-2016 growing seasons at the University of Kentucky Spindletop Research Farm in Lexington, KY. Thirty-six to 40 genotypes were chosen based on the combination of traits for vernalization and photoperiod sensitivity determined using marker analysis. Warmed environments were created through active and passive warming. Heading date, averaged across genotypes, shifted 1-5 days earlier in the actively warmed environment compared to the ambient environment across both years (p ≤0.05). Grain yield, averaged across genotypes, was significantly reduced in the actively warmed environment by 211.41 kg ha-1 (p ≤0.05) or 4.84%; however yield response to environment varied among genotypes with several genotypes displaying an increased yield in the warmed environment. Night temperature increases ranged from 0.27-0.75 °C above ambient temperature in the passively warmed environment. Grain yield, averaged across genotypes, was significantly reduced in the passively warmed environment by 224.29 kg ha-1 (p ≤0.05) or 6.44%; however, yield response to environment varied among genotypes with several genotypes displaying an increased yield in the warmed environment. Yield reductions are attributed to nitrogen utilization being reduced by 9.4% (p ≤0.001) under increased night temperatures.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.304

Included in

Agriculture Commons

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