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Preliminary assessment of the effect of brassinosteroids on yield in winter wheat


HGCA PROJECT REPORT 411

Preliminary assessment of the effect of brassinosteroids on yield in winter wheat


by
M Chatterjee1,3, W J Angus2 and J McKee3

1Agharkar Research Institute, G.G.Agarkar Road, PUNE - 411 004, India
(after April 2006)
2Nickerson (UK) Ltd., Windmill Avenue, Woolpit, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP30 9UP
3NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0LE

April 2007

Abstract

Brassinosteroids (BRs) are an important group of plant hormones essential for growth and development. Released in response to stress, they regulate the expression of numerous genes, including ones associated with plant height and yield. Spraying brassinosteroid preparations has been shown to increase establishment and yield in a number of crops.
The aim of this pilot project was to investigate whether the application of brassinosteroids increases yield in wheat grown under UK field conditions. Spraying the hormone is expensive; a seed treatment could be more cost-effective and so was also tested.

The key messages from these pilot field trials were:

  • Spraying wheat varieties grown under UK conditions with a non-commercial formulation of brassinosteroid had no significant effect on yield in unstressed plants.
  • However, yield loss in wheat under stress may be lower in wheat sprayed with brassinosteroid.
  • Further work under controlled conditions is required to demonstrate the interaction between brassinosteroid compounds and the growth of UK wheat varieties.

 

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