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Effect of Physical Restraint on Kernel Growth in Winter Wheat

Yu Zhenwen (Agricultural University of Shandong) D.B.Egli (University of Kentucky,U.S.A.)  
Two experiments were conducted in a greenhouse and fields to evalute the effect of physical restriction of the kernel on kernel growth.The plastic restriction device(PRD)wasconstructed from a 3.45-mm diam.plastic drinking straw cut into 1.8 cm lengths.10kernel on the treated plants were placed in the PRD's and samples were taken at frequentintervals to determine kernel fresh mass,dry mass,nitrogen and carbonhydrate concentration.Einal weight(mg·kernel~(-1))of kernels from PRD's was decreased relative to control plants.Mature kernels from PRD's were cylindrical in shape and had a high N concentration.The initial kernel growth rate(KGR)of kernels in the PRD's was similar tothe control kernels,however,when the kernel mass reached contain level the KGR wasdrastically decreased and there was also a decline in kernel water content.At the sametime,the kernel lost the efficiency of biochemical processes involved in the conversion ofsucrose to starch.The data demonstrate that physical restraint has a physical nad physiological effect on the ability of kernel to accumulate dry matter.
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