Dr Rajneet Uppal1, John Bromfield1, Rohan Brill1
1NSW DPI, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Canola is susceptible to heat stress during key reproductive stages such as gametogenesis and flowering. As majority heat tolerance research conducted in controlled environments have one or more confounding factors, the commercial relevance of such results may be doubted. To overcome these constraints, we specifically designed a novel field-based portable heating system for canola that opens opportunity to simulate controlled heat stress in-situ under natural conditions. Four field experiments were conducted at Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Wagga Wagga, Australia to develop and test a novel method of imposing heat stress in the field environment using portable heat chambers. These experiments investigated effect of timings of heat stress, heat stress × water application interaction on yield and genotypic responses to heat stress at reproductive development in canola. In national project on “Improving heat tolerance in canola-a coordinated multidisciplinary approach” this novel technique was deployed to assess heat tolerance of elite pre-breeding lines after preliminary screening in controlled environment growth rooms. Significant differences were observed between genotypes (G), heat stress (HS) and G ×HS interaction for plot grain yield and yield components. Portable heat chambers were successfully used to simulate heat stress of 35°C to screen varieties for heat tolerance in the field which is critical for breeding heat tolerant canola in future.
Rajneet Uppal is PhD in crop physiology from University of Reading, UK and works as crop physiologist with NSWDPI from 2015. Her work focus on phenotyping and physiology of abiotic stresses, mainly heat and frost in canola. Currently, she is leading NSW component for National heat project in canola and pilot project under Grains Agronomy and Pathology Partnership on quantifying frost damage in canola.