In field experiments under adverse weather conditions (low air temperature and excess precipitation during the period of reproductive organs formation, and increased temperature and lack of precipitation during grain filling) the variability of the specific leaf weight (SLW) of different tiers, chlorophyll content and dry weight in 6 varieties of winter wheat at reproductive period of development was investigated. The erectoid orientation of upper leaves in all studied winter wheat varieties, regardless of the year of breeding was found. The best adaptation of the pigment apparatus to the unfavorable conditions, during the spring-summer vegetation, was observed in the Kyivska 17 variety. The high-productive winter wheat varieties Kyivska 17, Horodnytsia, Pochaina and Poradnytsia had higher flag leaf SLW than low-productive varieties Krasnopilka and Smuhlianka both at anthesis (respectively 5.16—5.79 and 4.77—4.95 mg/cm2) and at milk ripeness (respectively 5.12—5.70 and 4.47—4.86 mg/cm2). A positive relationship between the main shoot ear grain productivity, the number of grains from the ear, and 1000 grains weight with certain traits of flag leaf assimilation apparatus at anthesis and milk ripeness was shown. It was found that the physiological marker of high main shoot ear grain productivity could be the flag leaf specific weight at anthesis and milk ripeness.
Keywords: Triticum aestivum L., drought, specific leaf weight, chlorophyll, productivity
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