Journal Article

Effects of short episodes of heat stress on flower production and fruit‐set of groundnut (<i>Arachis hypogaea</i> L.)

Pagadala V. Vara Prasad, Peter Q. Craufurd, Rodney J. Summerfield and Timothy R. Wheeler

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Volume 51, issue 345, pages 777-784
Published in print April 2000 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online April 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Effects of short episodes of heat stress on flower production and fruit‐set of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.)

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Groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) are an important crop of the semi‐arid tropics where they are often exposed to maximum temperatures of >40 °C for short periods during the growing season. The objectives of this study were to determine: (i) the effects of short periods of exposure to high temperature on flower production (FN), the proportion of flowers forming fruits (fruit‐set) and the number of pegs and pods per plant (RNt); (ii) whether fruit‐set is affected by high temperature during different periods of daylight in each diurnal cycle; and (iii) whether responses to temperature were qualitative or quantitative. Plants of cv. ICGV 86015 were grown in controlled environments at a day/night temperature of 28/22 °C from sowing until 9 d after flowering (DAF). Then, cohorts of plants were: (a) exposed to day temperature of 28, 34, 42 or 48 °C for 2, 4 or 6 d; or were (b) exposed to 34, 42 or 48 °C for 6 d either throughout a 12 h day (08.00 to 20.00 h, WD), or only during the first 6 h (AM) or second 6 h (PM) of the day. Values of RNt were significantly reduced by high temperature, by duration of exposure, and by timing of exposure. Variation in FN was quantitatively related to floral bud temperatures during the day over the range 28–43 °C. In contrast, only floral bud temperatures >36 °C during AM and WD significantly reduced fruit‐set and hence RNt, whereas high PM temperature had no effect on fruit‐set. These findings indicate that the response of RNt to day temperature is quantitative and can be modelled by combining the responses of FN and fruit‐set to temperature.

Keywords: Groundnut; flowering; fruit‐set; heat stress; temperature.

Journal Article.  5344 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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