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Water relations of winter wheat: 1. Growth of the root system

  • P. J. Gregory (a1), M. McGowan (a1), P. V. Biscoe (a1) and B. Hunter (a1)


The production of root axes and the growth of the root system are reported for a commercially grown crop of Maris Huntsman winter wheat. Soil cores were extracted on 17 occasions during the growing season permitting a detailed study of root length and root dry weight with depth and time.

Production of seminal root axes was complete by the beginning of March when all plants possessed six (occasionally seven) axes which persisted throughout the life of the crop. Nodal axes were produced continuously from mid-February until late May and finally numbered approximately 20 stem nodal axes per main stem. Total root dry weight increased exponentially until the beginning of April and then almost linearly to reach a maximum of 105 g root/m2 field in mid-June (anthesis). After anthesis, total root dry weight decreased but root growth continued below 80 cm. From April onwards, approximately 65% of the total root dry weight was in the 0–30 cm layer.



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Water relations of winter wheat: 1. Growth of the root system

  • P. J. Gregory (a1), M. McGowan (a1), P. V. Biscoe (a1) and B. Hunter (a1)


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