Canola yield and its association with phenological, architectural and physiological traits across the rainfall zones of southwestern Australia

Heping Zhang, Jens Berger, Chris Herrmann, Adam Brown, Sam Flottmann

CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA6014


Canola yield is a complex trait determined by environmental and genetic factors, and their interaction. We investigated yield performance of 21 canola across multiple environments and its association with flowering time, architectural and physiological traits. Pattern analyses showed that environment discriminated varieties differently, from which two mega-environments and four variety groups were identified. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed specific adaptation: i.e. yield was associated with early flowering in the low/medium rainfall zone (LMRZ) and with late flowering in the high rainfall zone (HRZ). A few varieties outperformed all other varieties across environments and were broadly-adapted. PCA revealed that yield was positively associated with biomass and HI but negatively with days to flowering in the LMRZ, and positively with biomass, longer days to flowering and more seeds m-2 but negatively with HI in the HRZ. The combination of high harvest index and biomass of broadly-adapted varieties enabled them to produce high yield across the environments.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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