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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Genotype and environment interaction study shows fungal diseases and heat stress are detrimental to spring wheat production in Sweden

Nehe, Ajit; Martinsson, Ulrika Dyrlund; Johansson, Eva; Chawade, Aakash


Spring wheat is an economically important crop for Scandinavia and its cultivation is likely to be affected by climate change. The current study focused on wheat yield in recent years, during which climate change-related yield fluctuations have been more pronounced than previously observed. Here, effects of the environment, together with the genotype and fungicide treatment was evaluated. Spring wheat multi-location trials conducted at five locations between 2016 and 2020 were used to understand effects of the climate and fungicides on wheat yield. The results showed that the environment has a strong effect on grain yield, followed by the genotype effect. Moreover, temperature has a stronger (negative) impact than rainfall on grain yield and crop growing duration. Despite a low rainfall in the South compared to the North, the southern production region (PR) 2 had the highest yield performance, indicating the optimal environment for spring wheat production. The fungicide treatment effect was significant in 2016, 2017 and 2020. Overall, yield reduction due to fungal diseases ranged from 0.98 (2018) to 13.3% (2017) and this reduction was higher with a higher yield. Overall yield reduction due to fungal diseases was greater in the South (8.9%) than the North zone (5.3%). The genotypes with higher tolerance to diseases included G4 (KWS Alderon), G14 (WPB 09SW025-11), and G23 (SW 11360) in 2016; G24 (SW 11360), G25 (Millie), and G19 (SEC 526-07-2) in 2017; and G19 (WPB 13SW976-01), G12 (Levels), and G18 (SW 141011) in 2020. The combined best performing genotypes for disease tolerance and stable and higher yield in different locations were KWS Alderon, SEC 526-07-2, and WPB 13SW976-01 with fungicide treatment and WPB Avonmore, SEC 526-07-2, SW 131323 without fungicide treatment. We conclude that the best performing genotypes could be recommended for Scandinavian climatic conditions with or without fungicide application and that developing heat-tolerant varieties for Scandinavian countries should be prioritized.

Published in

2023, Volume: 18, number: 5, article number: e0285565