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Combining management and breeding advances to improve field pea ( Pisum sativum L.) grain yields under changing climatic conditions in south-eastern Australia

Field pea (Pisum sativum L.) is widely grown across southern Australia. Delayed sowing is recommended to minimise yield losses caused by the disease ascochyta blight. However, drier and hotter springs in recent seasons have resulted in greater yield
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  See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: Combining management and breedingadvances to improve field pea (Pisumsativum L.) grain yields under changingclimatic...  Article   in  Euphytica · July 2011 DOI: 10.1007/s10681-011-0362-9 CITATIONS 22 READS 85 5 authors , including:J. A. DavidsonSouth Australian Research and Develop… 64   PUBLICATIONS   429   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE Moin U SalamDepartment of Agriculture and Food 79   PUBLICATIONS   830   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE All content following this page was uploaded by Moin U Salam on 26 November 2016. The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file. All in-text references underlined in blueare linked to publications on ResearchGate, letting you access and read them immediately.  Combining management and breeding advances to improvefield pea (  Pisum sativum  L.) grain yields under changingclimatic conditions in south-eastern Australia L. S. McMurray  • J. A. Davidson  • M. D. Lines  • A. Leonforte  • M. U. Salam Received: 29 June 2010/Accepted: 20 January 2011/Published online: 7 February 2011   Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011 Abstract  Field pea ( Pisum sativum  L.) is widelygrown across southern Australia. Delayed sowing isrecommended to minimise yield losses caused by thedisease ascochyta blight. However, drier and hottersprings in recent seasons have resulted in greateryield penalties from delayed sowing than from thisdisease. Field pea breeding in these shorter growingseasons has rapidly shifted the selection intensitytowards genotypes with earlier flowering. Researchwas conducted to identify optimal managementstrategies that reduce losses from both disease anddelayed sowing. Experiments comprising differingsowing dates (conventional, and 2–3 and 4–6 weeksearlier), various genotypes (including Alma—talltrailing type, and Kaspa—semi-leafless erect andOZP0602—earlier flowering, semi-leafless) and sixfungicide treatments (combinations of P-Pickel T  seed dressing and mancozeb foliar fungicide) wereconducted in multi-location sites in South Australiafrom 2007 to 2009. Ascochyta blight infectionoccurred in all years irrespective of treatment andlocation, but only reduced grain yield in one exper-iment in 2008 and two in 2009. The two earliersowing dates were generally higher yielding than theconventional sowing date for all genotypes. Howeverunder severe disease pressure yield loss was observedwith the earliest sowing date. Genotype differenceswere also observed in terms of yield response tosowing date and in levels of disease infection,although these small improvements in disease resis-tance did not translate to a yield advantage. Thecombination of seed treatment and strategic foliarfungicides resulted in a positive yield response in2009 but this was variable between sowing dates andgenotypes. Under recent weather patterns of lowerrainfall and shorter growing seasons, this studysuggested the optimum planting period is within aweek of the first autumn rains in low rainfall regionsand 3 weeks after the first autumn rains in mediumand medium–high rainfall regions. Grain yield can beoptimised in these conditions by using earlier flow-ering genotypes together with strategic fungicideapplication and early time of sowing. These earlierflowering genotypes were also found to have broaderadaptation to a range of sowing dates providingincreased management flexibility. Fungicides with L. S. McMurray    M. D. LinesSouth Australian Research and Development Institute(SARDI), PO Box 822, Clare, SA 5453, AustraliaJ. A. Davidson ( & )South Australian Research and Development Institute(SARDI), PO Box 397, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australiae-mail: LeonforteVictorian Department of Primary Industries, Private Bag260, Natimuk Road, Horsham, VIC 3401, AustraliaM. U. SalamDepartment of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia,3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, WA 6161, Australia  1 3 Euphytica (2011) 180:69–88DOI 10.1007/s10681-011-0362-9  greater efficacy than mancozeb are required tomaximise yield at the earliest sowing time. Keywords  Fungicide    Mancozeb    Chlorothalonil   Ascochyta blight    Didymella pinodes    Mycosphaerella pinodes    Phoma medicaginis  var.  pinodella    Phoma koolunga    Semi-leaflessfield pea    Flowering period    Field pea breeding Introduction Field pea ( Pisum sativum  L.) production in SouthAustralia has remained constant at approximately120,000 ha since the mid 1990s with most of thisproduction occurring in medium to high rainfall(400–500 mm per annum) areas. South Australia hasa predominantly Mediterranean climate with drysummers and field peas are grown when rainfalloccurs from winter through to spring. The autumnand early winter rain (April–June) initiates thecommencement of sowing, with field pea conven-tionally sown at the latter end of this period (lateMay–late June) to reduce exposure to ascochytablight infection. Up until the early 2000s the field peaindustry in Australia was based almost entirely on talltrailing, indeterminate flowering and late-maturingcultivars (e.g. cv. Alma). More recently a major shifthas occurred across southern Australia towards auniquely Australian bred field pea plant ideotype(cv. Kaspa) that is broadly adapted (McMurray2002). This cultivar is semi-dwarf, semi-leafless,determinate, late in flowering although early matur-ing, semi-erect at maturity and highly resistant toseed shattering. Further progress in Pulse BreedingAustralia’s (PBA) Field Pea Program, predominatelyaimed at lower rainfall regions, has led to thedevelopment of earlier and less determinate flower-ing advanced breeding lines (e.g. OZP0601 andOZP0602) of similar plant habit to Kaspa.Ascochyta blight has remained the most commondisease affecting South Australian field pea crops(Davidson and Ramsey 2000; Bretag et al. 2006). This disease is caused by a complex of fungi, viz.  Didymella pinodes  (synonym:  Mycosphaerella pin-odes ),  Phoma medicaginis  var.  pinodella ,  Didymella pisi  and  Phoma koolunga  (Bretag and Ramsey 2001;Davidson et al. 2009; Peever et al. 2007). Research on ascochyta blight in Australia during the 1990s wasbased on production in the traditional areas and ontraditional late-maturing tall trailing types (i.e.Alma). The major control strategy recommendedfrom this research was to delay sowing 4–6 weeksbeyond the first autumn rains to minimise ascochytablight infection from airborne ascospores of   D. pinodes  (Bretag et al. 2000; Davidson and Ramsey 2000; Hawthorne et al. 2003). McDonald and Peck  (2009) found that disease severity was more thanhalved and grain yield increased 6% by delayingsowing of Alma by 3–4 weeks to mid June. Furtherresearch on foliar fungicides for ascochyta blightcontrol on the traditional cultivars found this strategyto be uneconomic (unpublished data) and conse-quently the use of fungicides in field pea productionin Australia is limited.Southern Australia has been affected by drought inrecent years, experiencing shorter and drier springsduring crop maturation (Bureau of Meteorology2010). In addition, the higher valued pulse crop lentil(  Lens culinaris ) has increased in area sown in SouthAustralia from less than 1,000 ha in 1994 to69,000 ha in 2001 in traditional field pea growingareas (Fulwood 2010). During this period the areasown to field pea remained relatively constant as itexpanded into lower rainfall areas (350–425 mm perannum) not suited to lentils (Fulwood 2010). Culturalpractices generally remained the same across thedifferent cropping regions except for the use of earlier sowing dates in lower rainfall districts.However, given this expansion into lower rainfallareas, the recent run of dry years and the change tothe late flowering semi-leafless Kaspa, the potentialyield loss through delayed sowing may be greaterthan losses from ascochyta blight. Delaying sowingdates in southern Australia often results in grain yieldreductions due to flowering and grain filling occur-ring under periods of temperature extremes andmoisture stress (Armstrong et al. 2008; Heenan1994). In low rainfall environments of South Austra-lia a sowing delay of 2 weeks can lead to aproduction loss of 360 kg per ha (Frischke andMcMurray 2001). McDonald and Peck (2009) found that in the absence of disease the grain yield of earlysown Alma was 20% higher than later sown cropsover the period 1999–2001. Dry conditions in 2006highlighted the importance of early sowing for 70 Euphytica (2011) 180:69–88  1 3  Kaspa, which experienced a 70% yield loss associ-ated with a 3-week sowing delay in the mediumrainfall area (McMurray et al. 2007). New earlierflowering lines such as OZP0601 and OZP0602 weredeveloped with improved adaptation to shortergrowing seasons. The earlier flowering dates of newcultivars may decrease risk of yield loss associatedwith delayed sowing and may be more broadlyadapted to variable seasons.Further studies on foliar fungicides were alsowarranted due to a subsequent reduction in fungicidecosts, the availability of higher yielding semi-dwarf cultivars with shorter and more erect plant types, and agreater understanding of the benefits of strategicapplications. Anecdotal evidence from farm trials onnew cultivars in 2003 showed that foliar fungicides forascochyta blight were economic in the high rainfallareas (Davidson et al. 2004). A strategy of earlysowing and strategic fungicide use had also beensuggested by McDonald and Peck (2009) as a possiblemeans to improve field pea yields in southernAustralia.The aims of this study were to identify manage-ment strategies for the improved cultivars and near-release breeding lines that gave stable maximumyields, allowing for sustainable field pea productionin short dry seasons and lower rainfall areas. Man-agement strategies were based on genotype selectionthat best suited the agronomic region and disease risk,optimum sowing dates and economic control of ascochyta blight. Materials and methods Weather data to analyse changing climate patternWeather data for three sites viz. Turretfield (mediumto high [MH] rainfall, mean annual rainfall 464 mm),Hart (medium [M] rainfall, mean annual rainfall429 mm) and Minnipa (low [L] rainfall, mean annualrainfall 329 mm) were accessed through Silo patch-point data (SILO 2010). The nearest Silo data pointfor each were Rosedale data point for Turretfield(7 km east of site), Blyth data point for Hart (11 kmsouth of site) and Minnipa data point on site. Dataincluded daily rainfall and daily minimum andmaximum temperatures for the period 1887–2009.Daily temperature and rainfall data were averagedover all years for monthly periods and also for theyears from 2002 to 2009. Data from the two periodswere compared using two-sample  t  -tests with unequalvariances.Field pea production in South Australiafrom 1996 to 2009Data on the area (ha) sown to field peas in SouthAustralia and production (total tonnes per year) werecollated by Fulwood (2010) for the period1996–2009. A 5-year moving average was calculatedfor the annual production for the periods 1996–2000,1997–2001 until 2005–2009.Developments in field pea germplasm adaptedto changing South Australian conditionsFrom 2006 to 2009 the cvs. Kaspa and Parafield (talltrailing type) and the breeding line OZP0602 weregrown amongst a range of cultivars and breedinglines in replicated Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA)and National Variety Trials (NVT) evaluation trials at9 (2006), 13 (2007), 13 (2008) and 14 (2009)representative field pea sites across the South Aus-tralian cropping zone (32–37   S, 134–140   E). Thebreeding line OZP0601 was also included from 2007onward. Trial management represented the localpractice in each region with respect to fertiliser,herbicides and pesticides for rates and applicationtimes. Neither rhizobium inoculant nor fungicideseed treatment were applied as this was the generalaccepted practice. Individual plots were either5 m  9  1.45 m or 10 m  9  1.45 m in size. Plantdensity represented best management practice at 45live seeds m - 2 for tall trailing types and 55 live seedsm - 2 for semi-dwarf types. Plots were harvested usinga plot harvester and grain yield recorded as kg plot - 1 and converted to kg ha - 1 . This was achieved bycalculating the plot width from row spacing and thenumber of sown rows and adjusted for plot edgeeffects between adjacent plots (2 spaced rows). Meanyield per cultivar was calculated using a Best LinearUnbiased Prediction (BLUP) analysis using S-Plusstatistical package. The mean yields of cultivars werecompared against the site mean yield using a MultipleLinear Regression with Genotype as groups inGenstat 10th edition (Rothamsted ExperimentalStation, UK). Euphytica (2011) 180:69–88 71  1 3  Timetofloweringanddurationoffloweringdatesof advanced breeding lines and locally grown cultivarswere recorded in advanced PBA breeding experimentsat Balaklava (one of the sites in the above evalua-tion trials), South Australia (34   07 0 60 00 S and138   24 0 60 00 E) annually from 2005 to 2009. Thedates were used to place each cultivar into one of fivecategories;earlyflowering,earlytomidflowering,midflowering, mid to late flowering or late flowering.Optimising yield in commercial cultivarsand adapted breeding lines Field trial design and management  Replicated field experiments were conducted in 2007,2008 and 2009 at two sites in South Australia: Hart(33   45 0 23 00 S and 138   26 0 21 00 E) and Turretfield(34   32 0 60 00 S and 138   44 0 42 00 E), representingmedium (M) and medium to high (MH) rainfallregions respectively, and representing different loca-tions of major field pea production in South Australia.The soil types at both sites were alkaline, calcareousclay-loams with a surface soil (0–10 cm) pH (water)ranging from 7.5 to 8.2 at Turretfield and 8.3 to 8.5 atHart over the 3 years. Line entries included Kaspa,Alma, Parafield, OZP0601, OZP0602 and theadvanced breeding line WAPEA2211. Alma andParafield have a tall and trailing plant habit while theother genotypes have an erect semi-dwarf, semi-leafless plant habit.Each trial had three sowing dates (Table 1), spacedat 2–3 weekly intervals, with the first sowing date assoon as practicable (1–11 days) after the first autumnrains i.e. April 30–May 1 for M site and May 9–May11 for MH site. The earliest sowing date is designated‘Rec-4’ (4–6 weeks ahead of conventional sowingdate), the second sowing date is designated ‘Rec-2’(2–3 weeks ahead of conventional sowing data) andthe latest sowing date is designated ‘Rec’ (conven-tional sowing date). Trials were designed as split plotwith sowing date as the main block, replicated threetimes, with cultivars by fungicide treatments ran-domised within each sowing block. Buffer (non-treatment) plots were sown at both ends of everysowing date block to minimise the interferenceeffects from different sowing dates. Individual plotswere 10  9  1.45 m in size, seeding rate was 45 liveseeds m - 2 for tall trailing types and 55 live seeds m - 2 for semi-dwarf types. Trial management representedbest local practice. Weeds were generally low at eachsite and hand weeding was used where required toremove escaped or herbicide resistant weeds.Fungicide treatments (Table 2) were based on thefew chemicals that were already registered for fieldpea in Australia and included the seed dressingP-Pickel T  (360 g thiram/l plus 200 g thiabenda-zole/l) at 200 ml 100 kg - 1 and the foliar fungicidesmancozeb at 2.5 kg ha - 1 and chlorothalonil at2 l ha - 1 . Plots with the seed dressing [designated‘SD’] were tested with or without subsequent foliarapplications of mancozeb. Mancozeb foliar sprayswere applied once (early) [designated ‘M’] or twice(early and late) [designated ‘MM’] during the grow-ing season, in plots with or without the seedtreatment. The early spray was applied when plantswere approximately 9 node growth stage, beforecanopy closure and ascochyta blight lesions werevisible on lower leaves. In 2009 an earlier application(between 4 and 8 node growth stage) of mancozebwas also included due to the early development of ascochyta blight and a second (late) spray wasapplied at early flowering, where practical ahead of a major rain front that would most likely dispersefungal spores. This treatment was designated ‘Ear-lyMM’. Control treatments were ‘nil’ fungicide andP-Pickel T  plus fortnightly applications of chlorot-halonil (fortnightly sprays). Fungicides were appliedusing a hand held battery powered sprayer with four015 IDK low pressure air inducted nozzles operatingat a pressure of 300 kPa (3 bar). Table 1  Sowing dates for each experimental site and yearSite Year Sowing periodRec-4 Rec-2 RecMinnipa (L) 2007  a 30-Apr 15-May2008  a 20-May 13-Jun2009  a 30-Apr 20-MayHart (M) 2007 1-May 18-May 6-Jun2008 1-May 21-May 8-Jun2009 30-Apr 18-May 4-JunTurretfield (MH) 2007 10-May 26-May 12-Jun2008 9-May 30-May 20-Jun2009 11-May 1-Jun 19-Jun a Not included in this trial72 Euphytica (2011) 180:69–88  1 3
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