Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
Crop and Pasture Science

Crop and Pasture Science

Volume 63 Number 10 2012

CP12152Evaluating the performance of endophytes in farm systems to improve farmer outcomes – a review

Errol R. Thom, Alison J. Popay, David E. Hume and Lester R. Fletcher
pp. 927-943

Endophyte, a fungus infecting forage grasses like perennial ryegrass, affects both pasture and animal performance. This paper provides a history of endophyte research in New Zealand and reviews evaluation protocols for new grass/endophyte associations over the past 30 years; the authors conclude that assessments of sheep and dairy cow production responses are necessary before commercial release. Animal production response data for new grass/endophyte associations are the most relevant for farmers considering adopting the new technologies.

Almost 10 million hectares of rice is grown once a year in the wet season in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia (the Mekong region) under mostly traditional subsistence agriculture without much resource inputs such as irrigation and fertiliser. This review paper synthesises information available on rice production in relation to resource input and crop management practices. It then discusses potential future directions on improvement of rice-based cropping systems in the region.

Population growth, projected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and air temperature will put increasing pressure on agriculture to produce more food on less arable land while maintaining productivity and profitability and ensuring environmental sustainability. The magnitude of climate change and its implications on south-east Queensland on crop yield and water use are mostly unknown. Results show that early sowing dates and targeted deficit irrigation when water is limited are two adaptation strategies for future climate change scenarios. The study show how crop models can be applied to provide answers to practical production questions.

CP12169Analysis of early vigour in twenty modern cultivars of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

M. L. Maydup, C. Graciano, J. J. Guiamet and E. A. Tambussi
pp. 987-996

Early vigour (a fast development of seedling leaf area) is a relevant trait in crops, because less water can be lost by evaporation from the soil. In modern varieties of wheat, early vigour is low compared with another winter crops and we studied this trait in twenty cultivars of Argentina. We built simple mathematical models to predict early vigour, including some parameters easy to measure, such as seed mass and leaf width of the seedling.

CP12165Powdery mildew resistance genes in barley varieties grown in Australia

Antonín Dreiseitl and Gregory Platz
pp. 997-1006

Powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei) is one of the most common diseases in barley. Genes for resistance to powdery mildew were postulated for 86 Australian barley varieties and 9 advanced breeding lines using 40 reference isolates of the pathogen. Fifty isolates were used for additional tests of some varieties. Amongst 22 known resistance genes detected, most frequent were Mla8 and Mlg. It is recommended that Australian barley breeding programs exploit European varieties possessing the non-specific recessive gene mlo to improve the resistance to powdery mildew in new varieties.

CP12255Molecular mapping and validation of Rlm1 gene for resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans in canola (Brassica napus L.)

Rosy Raman, Belinda Taylor, Kurt Lindbeck, Neil Coombes, Denise Barbulescu, Phil Salisbury and Harsh Raman
pp. 1007-1017

Blackleg is one of most devastating diseases of canola worldwide. In order to select blackleg resistant varieties efficiently, molecular markers associated with resistance loci are required. We mapped and validated molecular markers for Rlm1 gene mediated resistance. Our results suggest that markers can be used to predict Rlm1 resistance alleles in canola populations derived from European sources.

The timing of seed maturation in agricultural weeds can be critical for their dispersal distances. The results show that the duration of fruit dispersal in wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.) grown in wheat becomes shorter when the weed emerges progressively later than the crop and those that develop under water deficit disperse sooner than those receiving a plentiful supply of water. Such information provide an opportunity for managers to reduce weed seed return to their field or, conversely, to regulate the amount of contaminated grain or reduce dispersal to other locations.

Yellow bristle grass and summer grass are summer-active annual grasses which provide poor quality forage and significantly reduce milk production in dryland dairy pastures. To determine which pasture type best suppressed these weeds, we assessed their growth and seedhead production in perennial ryegrass, perennial ryegrass + white clover and tall fescue + white clover pastures. Growth and seedhead production were similar in all three pasture types; other strategies are required to mitigate the impact of these weeds.

CP12216Drought resistance at the seedling stage in the promising fodder plant tedera (Bituminaria bituminosa var. albomarginata)

Kevin Foster, Megan H. Ryan, Daniel Real, Padmaja Ramankutty and Hans Lambers
pp. 1034-1042

There has been little evaluation of seedling drought resistance, especially in legumes. The perennial legume Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) C.H. Stirt. var. albomarginata (tedera) has been identified as a promising fodder plant for the southern Australian wheatbelt, but little is known about its drought resistance as a seedling. This study revealed significant morphological and physiological differences between tedera and two other species when under water stress, with tedera being the most drought-resistant legume. These results show that tedera could have a role as a new pasture species for cultivation in drought-prone environments.

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