Agricultural field experiments are increasingly being performed on farms instead of on research stations, especially in the context of precision farming. Such experiments pose a number of new challenges regarding experimental design and efficient statistical analysis. This paper reviews recent developments in this area and considers how classical statistical principles can be employed to make effective use of these innovative experimental approaches.
Crop and Pasture Science
Volume 62 Number 9 2011
CP11079 Post head-emergence frost resistance of barley genotypes in the northern grain region of Australia
Post head-emergence frost is a major limitation of barley production in Australia and internationally. Putative frost adapted barley varieties identified in southern Australia where field tested in the sub-tropical northern Australian environment. However, none of the lines demonstrated useful levels of resistance. Continued screening for new sources of post head-emergence frost resistance will be necessary.
CP11134 Molecular detection of high- and low-molecular-weight glutenin subunit genes in common wheat cultivars from 20 countries using allele-specific markers
The composition and quantity of high- and low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS and LMW-GS) plays an important role in determining the end-use quality of wheat products. In this study 718 wheat cultivars and advanced lines from 20 countries were characterised for the HMW-GS and LMW-GS with allele-specific molecular markers. The functional markers applied in this study, in agreement with the results of SDS-PAGE, were accurate and stable, and can be used effectively in wheat quality breeding.
Thirty-four faba bean (Vicia faba L.) including local and exotic materials were subjected to molecular diversity assessment using 12 ISSR molecular markers. The molecular data showed unambiguous and qualitative (present or absent) fragments that gave repeatable patterns were considered for the analysis. The high number of subclusters formed in this study indicated that there is a high genetic variability related to collection sites and it should be utilised in faba bean improvement.
Aluminium toxicity is a serious problem liming crop productivity in acid soil which comprises large areas of the world. It is considered as the main abiotic stress that causes 25-80% yield losses in various crop plants. It is highly toxic to plants roots resulting in poor development of the root system, susceptibility to moisture stress and nutrient deficiencies. Aluminium tolerance in pigeonpea is controlled by two dominant genes. Such result open the possibility to investigate the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying Al3+ tolerance and to develop breeding program focused for increasing aluminium tolerance.
CP11046 Diversity of seed protein among the Australian narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) cultivars
Lupin is attributed by its high protein content making it suitable for animal feed and human food. This study characterised protein polymorphism among 25 Australian lupin cultivars through mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) with the aim of developing molecular breeding strategies to improve protein quality and content. Among the total 364 seed proteins identified, 50 were cultivar specific, 9 were common for all cultivars and 61 were present in 2–3 cultivars only. The low proportion (2.4%) of common proteins suggested a high level of diversity in lupin seed protein.
CP11055 Growth and yield responses to amendments to the sugarcane monoculture: towards identifying the reasons behind the response to breaks
Experiments involving breaks to the sugarcane monoculture, soil fumigation and the application of biocides were conducted in three sugarcane-growing regions in Queensland, Australia. The aim was to elucidate the cause(s) of previously observed positive yield responses to breaks in the monoculture and assess persistence into a subsequent cane cycle. Positive response to fumigation and breaks indicated that a considerable part of the overall response to breaks was due to reducing the adverse effect of detrimental soil biota.
CP11121 Cognitive tools to support learning about farming system management: a case study in grazing systems
The complex challenge of farm management has prompted a search for ways in which scientific knowledge can be acquired and combined with practical know-how to enhance the adaptability of farming systems. The article delineates, illustrates and analyses the concept of cognitive tool that provides model-based support in understanding or designing grazing management practices in pasture-based livestock farms. Thanks to the participatory setting in which they are used, cognitive tools can foster innovation towards more sustainable and resilient farming systems.
CP11093 Seedling validation of acid soil tolerance of lucerne populations selected in solution culture high in aluminium
This study tested the hypothesis that lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) populations selected in solution culture high in aluminium (Al) would increase seedling root growth when grown in an acid soil high in exchangeable Al. Root growth of six elite populations selected in high-Al solution culture was compared. The results provided evidence that seedlings of lucerne populations selected in high-Al solution culture can confer significantly improved root and shoot growth in acid soil.