Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (7): 757-766.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00071

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of supplemental irrigation by measuring the moisture content at jointing and anthesis on fluorescence characteristics and water use efficiency in flag leaves of wheat

GUO Zeng-Jiang1, YU Zhen-Wen1*, SHI Yu1, ZHAO Jun-Ye2, and ZHANG Yong-Li1   

  1. 1Shandong Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Crop Ecophysiology and Farming System, Ministry of Agriculture, Tai’an, Shandong 271018, China;

    2Institute of Agricultural Information , Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2013-10-30 Revised:2014-03-26 Online:2014-07-01 Published:2014-07-10
  • Contact: YU Zhen-Wen

Abstract:

Aims Our objective was to determine the effects of supplemental irrigation by measuring the moisture content at jointing and anthesis on fluorescence characteristics and water use efficiency in flag leaves of wheat (Triticum aestivum).
Methods Four irrigation treatments were imposed, i.e. the average relative soil water content in the soil layer of 0–20 cm (D1), 0–40 cm (D2), 0–60 cm (D3), and 0–40 cm (D4) were raised to 65% (at jointing) and 70% (at anthesis), respectively, by supplemental irrigation, with zero-irrigation as a control treatment (D0) in 2011–2012 and 2012–2013.
Important findings The soil water consumption in the D2 treatment was significantly higher than in other treatments in the 40–100 cm soil layer from jointing to anthesis and in the 40–140 cm soil layer from anthesis to maturity; the latter stage showed the highest soil water consumption during wheat growing. The flag leaves of wheat plants in the D2 treatment showed the highest water use efficiency, potential photosynthesis activity of PSII (Fv/Fo), electronic transpiration activity of PSII (Fm/Fo), relative electron transport rate (ETR) and photochemistry quenching index (qP) after anthesis, followed by the D3 treatment, with those in the D0 treatment having the lowest values. In both growing seasons, the grain yield was ranked in the order of D2 > D3 > D1 > D4 > D0 among the treatments; water use efficiency (WUE) in the D2 treatment was 20.19 kg·hm–2·mm–1 and 21.92 kg·hm–2·mm–1, respectively, higher than in the D0, D3, and D4 treatments. No significant difference was observed in any of the variables between the D1 and D2 treatments. Hence, the D2 treatment, with application of irrigation based on the soil moisture measurement in the 0–40 cm soil layer at jointing and anthesis, is the most optimal treatment for achieving high grain yield and high WUE.