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Seedling vigour and the early growth of transplanted rice (Oryza sativa)

Ros, C., Bell, R.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-7756-3755 and White, P.F. (2003) Seedling vigour and the early growth of transplanted rice (Oryza sativa). Plant and Soil, 252 (2). pp. 325-337.

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Previous studies suggest that the positive response of transplanted rice (Oryza sativa L.) to nursery fertiliser application was due to increased seedling vigour or possibly to increased nutrient content. This paper presents results of two glasshouse experiments designed to test the hypothesis that seedling vigour was responsible for the response of transplanted seedlings to nursery treatments. The aim of the present study was to explore the concept of seedling vigour of transplanted rice and to determine what plant attributes conferred vigour on the seedlings. Seedling vigour treatments were established by subjecting seedlings to short-term submergence (0, 1 and 2 days/week) in one experiment and to leaf clipping or root pruning and water stress in another to determine their effect on plant growth after transplanting. Submerging seedlings increased plant height but depressed shoot and root dry matter and root:shoot ratio of the seedling at 28 days after sowing. After transplanting these seedlings, prior submergence depressed shoot dry matter at 40 days. Nursery nutrient application increased plant height, increased root and shoot dry matter, but generally decreased root:shoot ratio. Pruning up to 60% of the roots at transplanting decreased shoot and root dry matter, P concentration in leaves at panicle initiation (PI) and straw dry matter and grain yield at maturity. By contrast, pruning 30% of leaves depressed shoot and root dry matter by 30% at PI, and root dry matter and straw and grain yield by 20% at maturity. The combined effects of leaf clipping and root pruning on shoot, root and straw dry matter were largely additive. It is concluded that the response of rice yield to nursery treatments is largely due to increased seedling vigour and can be effected by a range of nutritional as well as non-nutritional treatments of seedlings that increase seedling dry matter, nutrient content, and nutrient concentration. Impairment of leaf growth and to a lesser extent root growth in the nursery depressed seedling vigour after transplanting. However, rather than increasing stress tolerance, seedling vigour was more beneficial when post transplant growth was not limited by nutrient or water stresses.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers
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