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Growth and yield differences between triazine-tolerant and non-triazine-tolerant cultivars of canola

M. J. Robertson, J. F. Holland, S. Cawley, T. D. Potter, W. Burton, G. H. Walton and G. Thomas

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 53(6) 643 - 651
Published: 05 June 2002


Canola tolerant to the triazine group of herbicides is grown widely in Australian broad-acre cropping systems. Triazine-tolerant (TT) cultivars are known to have a yield and oil content penalty compared with non-TT cultivars. This study was designed to elucidate the crop physiological basis for the yield differences between the two types. Two commercial cultivars, near-isogenic for the TT trait, were compared in a detailed growth analysis in the field, and 22 crops were compared for phenology and crop attributes at maturity. In the growth analysis study, the TT trait was found to lower radiation use efficiency, which carried through to less biomass at maturity. There were minimal effects on leaf area development and harvest index, and no effect on canopy radiation extinction. Across the 22 crops, where yield varied from 240 to 3400 kg/ha in the non-TT cultivar, yield was on average 26% less in the TT cultivar due to less biomass produced, as there was no significant effect on harvest index. The difference in oil content (2-5%) was greater in low oil content environments. Flowering was delayed by 2-10 days with a greater delay being in later flowering environments. Quantification of the physiological attributes of TT canola allows the assessment of the productivity of different cultivar types across environments.

Keywords: radiation use efficiency, leaf area, harvest index, biomass, herbicide.

© CSIRO 2002

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