Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Shoot and Root Traits Underlying Genotypic Variation in Early Vigor and Nutrient Accumulation in Spring Wheat Grown in High-Latitude Light Conditions

Liu, Hui; Fiorani, Fabio; Jack, Ortrud; Colombi, Tino; Nagel, Kerstin A.; Weih, Martin


Plants with improved nutrient use efficiency are needed to maintain and enhance future crop plant production. The aim of this study was to explore candidate traits for pre-breeding to improve nutrient accumulation and early vigor of spring wheat grown at high latitudes. We quantified shoot and root traits together with nutrient accumulation in nine contrasting spring wheat genotypes grown in rhizoboxes for 20 days in a greenhouse. Whole-plant relative growth rate was here correlated with leaf area productivity and plant nitrogen productivity, but not leaf area ratio. Furthermore, the total leaf area was correlated with the accumulation of six macronutrients, and could be suggested as a candidate trait for the pre-breeding towards improved nutrient accumulation and early vigor in wheat to be grown in high-latitude environments. Depending on the nutrient of interest, different root system traits were identified as relevant for their accumulation. Accumulation of nitrogen, potassium, sulfur and calcium was correlated with lateral root length, whilst accumulation of phosphorus and magnesium was correlated with main root length. Therefore, special attention needs to be paid to specific root system traits in the breeding of wheat towards improved nutrient accumulation to counteract the suboptimal uptake of some nutrient elements.


early vigor; high-latitudes; leaf area; nutrient; root growth; wheat

Published in

2021, Volume: 10, number: 1, article number: 174
Publisher: MDPI