Simulating growth, development, and yield of tillering pearl millet. I. Leaf area profiles on main shoots and tillers

Oosterom, E.J. van and Carberry, P.S. and O'Leary, G.J. (2001) Simulating growth, development, and yield of tillering pearl millet. I. Leaf area profiles on main shoots and tillers. Field Crops Research, 72 (1). pp. 51-66.

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Pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum [Pennisetum glaucum]) is an essential crop in farming systems of the dry areas of the semiarid tropics and its tillering habit is an important adaptive feature. The objective of this paper is to quantify the effects of total leaf number per axis (TLN), cultivar, plant density and axis number on parameters that are used to simulate potential leaf area per plant. Four cultivars (BJ 104, HHB 67, RCB-IC 911 and WRajPop) with different phenology and tillering habit were grown under well-watered and well-fertilized conditions at two locations in India, (Jodhpur, Rajasthan and Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh) during 1996 and 1997, covering a range of daylengths (12.5-14.9 h) and plant densities (low, <5 plants m-2; medium, 5-12 plants m-2; and high, >12 plants m-). For selected plants, the area of fully expanded leaves was measured non-destructively. A bell-shaped function adequately described the relationship between individual leaf area and leaf position on an axis. Its shape was determined by the position (X0) and area (Y0) of the largest leaf and by the breadth and skewness of the leaf area profile curve. TLN affected all four parameters, although the association with Y0 was weak. Cultivar only affected Y0, suggesting that parameterising new cultivars is straightforward. The observed density effect confirmed that competition for light between axes started during stem elongation. The results highlighted the consistent differences between leaf area profiles of main shoots and tillers. For a high-tillering crop like pearl millet, modelling leaf area dynamics through individual leaves is justified, as this approach can potentially deal with cultivar and environmental effects on tillering

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India
Subjects: Plant Production > Production Practices
Crop Improvement > Plant Breeding
Divisions: Millet
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2011 23:05
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2011 09:57
Official URL:

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