Zhigan Zhao1, Enli Wang1,*, Greg J. Rebetzke1, Bangyou Zheng2, Scott C. Chapman2,3
1CSIRO Agriculture & Food, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia,
2 CSIRO Agriculture & Food, Queensland Biosciences Precinct, 306 Carmody Road, St Lucia, QLD 4067, Australia,
3 School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
Early vigour, or faster early leaf area development, has been considered as an important trait for targeted breeding selection to increase dryland wheat yield such as in Australia. However, whether early vigour can increase yield across the whole Australian wheat belt and how soil type interacts with climate to impact on yield benefit of early vigour remain unknown. We present an analysis through combining field data and APSIM modelling to quantify impact of early vigour on wheat yield across contrasting climate and soil conditions (i.e. with different plant available water capacity (PAWC)). Simulated yield of wheat with the early vigour trait was on average 17%-29% higher compared to baseline wheat across all studied sites and soils. The results indicate a general positive yield benefits of early vigour, with higher benefit on larger soil PAWC.