The relationships between leaf senescence, carbon isotope discrimination and yield performance were examined in durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.), in the high plains of Setif, eastern Algeria. Ten CIMMYT high-yielding cultivars were grown during two cropping seasons characterized by low rainfall (217 and 162 mm, respectively), freezing temperatures at heading stage and terminal heat stress. Senescence was assessed using numerical image analysis (NIA). Carbon isotope discrimination was analyzed in flag leaves at anthesis and grain at maturity. Senescence was significantly negatively correlated to grain yield in season 1, but not in season 2. There was no relationship between Δ and grain yield in both seasons. The absence of association between Δ and grain yield is likely to be due to a strong contribution of pre-anthesis assimilates to yield together with a sink limitation of yield.
Cereal Research Communications (2007) 35 (1) 71-80 [doi: 10.1556/CRC.35.2007.1.9]