Shihab Uddin1 2, Rhiannon K Schilling3, Binbin Xu1, Iman Tahmasbian1, Tony Napier4, Remy Dehaan5, Glenn K McDonald3, Ehsan Tavakkoli1,3,6 *
1 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650, Australia.
2 Department of Agronomy, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh-2202, Bangladesh.
3 School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond SA 5064, Australia.
4 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Yanco Agricultural Institute, Yanco NSW 2703, Australia.
5 School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650, Australia.
6 Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dispersive sodic soils are common in the cropping areas of south-eastern Australia and due to their poor water infiltration rate, transient waterlogging may occur, even following a small rainfall event. Transient waterlogging causes significant changes to soil chemistry that can severely reduce root growth and result in yield loss. To date there is limited information on the genetic variation in wheat for waterlogging tolerance in the field with sodic subsoils. The aim of this study was to 1) quantify waterlogging tolerance among wheat genotypes, and 2) identify which phenotypic traits are most closely related to waterlogging tolerance in the field. The experiments were conducted in a field at Leeton Farm Station of NSW DPI on a dispersive, sodic soil. Fifteen wheat genotypes were grown under waterlogged and control condition. Three weeks before anthesis, the area was flooded for five days and then drained. Aerial imaging and physiological and agronomic measurements at different growth stages were used to assess the response to waterlogging. Waterlogging reduced the normalized difference in vegetation index (NDVI), crop biomass, grain yield and grain protein content. Responses in NDVI and grain yield were correlated. Despite quite remarkable difference among different genotypes in their responses to waterlogging, their overall effect was statistically non-significant. Long-term evaluation of different genotypes under field conditions will help us to better understand the mechanisms of waterlogging tolerance and their phenotyping and morphological traits associated with such tolerance.