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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Plant Science

First Advisor

Karl Glover


Early root growth in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is poorly understood and more in-depth studies are needed. Improved early root vigor can increase water and nutrient uptake, while decreasing nitrogen loss below the root zone. Improved root vigor is also advantageous for overcoming constraints of hard soil layers commonly found in no-tillage systems. Spring wheat lines that possess a short arm translocation of rye (Secale cereale L.) chromosome 1R have been shown to possess favorable agronomic traits, such as; increased root biomass at maturity which may confer drought tolerance, improved resistance to certain diseases, and elevated grain yield. However, these lines have not been directly characterized for early season root vigor. 'Pavon 76' and its three rye translocation lines, Pavon 1RS.1AL, Pavon 1RS.1BL, and Pavon 1RS.1DL were grown in a greenhouse under favorable conditions with a randomized complete block design. A root washing protocol was designed and roots were exhumed and thoroughly washed 35 days after sowing, which coincided with the five leaf, Zadoks 30 stage of growth. Root samples were analyzed using WinRhizo root scanning software. Traits analyzed with the WinRhizo software were: total root length, root volume, root diameter, number of root tips, and root surface area. Dry root weight was also recorded for each root sample. No genotypic differences were detected among any of the traits measured, which suggests that neither the presence nor genomic location of the rye translocation confers early season root vigor under greenhouse conditions. Highly significant positive xi correlations did exist between dry root weight and each of the five traits collected with the WinRhizo software. This indicated that dry root weight may be a good indicator of each of the traits collected with the WinRhizo software. A wheat breeder interested in incorporating early season root vigor as part of a selection program may want to begin by simply focusing on dry root weight

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Translocation (Genetics)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 31-36)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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