Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

James Mwendwa

 James Mwendwa

Mechanism of weed suppression in early vigour and weed suppressive wheat genotypes

Mechanism of weed suppression in early vigour and weed suppressive wheat genotypes

Plant interactions research group

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The ability of wheat cultivars/genotypes to overcome weed pressure, either through 1) the maintenance of high biomass coupled to rapid growth and establishment (early vigour) or 2) allelopathic interference is influenced by such parameters as genotype, expression of early vigour, and the potential to produce allelochemicals, either by direct release from root or shoot exudates or through residue decomposition. In addition, shoot and root architectural traits and environmental factors may also play a vital role in elicitation of weed suppression mechanisms.

This project will evaluate a genetically diverse set of Australian wheat genotypes for their ability to suppress annual weeds in the field and in controlled environments. Based on field and phytotron observations, growth rates and architectural traits will be assessed in multiple locations, including Wagga and Condobolin, and under selected temperatures. Metabolic profiling of wheat shoot and root extracts and rhizosphere soils will also be performed to evaluate impacts of genotype and environment on 1) primary metabolism and 2) on secondary metabolites associated with plant defence and competition. In addition, relative growth rate, total biomass accumulation, nutrient status and photosynthesis/light interception including photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and leaf area index (LAI) will be assessed.

Plant interactions research group

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Prof. Leslie Weston, Dr. William Brown,  Dr. Hanwen Wu & Prof. Jeffrey Weidenhamer

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GRDC Project UCS 00200, GRDC Projects UCS 00023, GRDC Scholarship UCS 00022

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Zhu X, Skoneczny D, Weidenhamer JD, Mwendwa JM, Weston PA, Gurr GM, ... and Weston LA (2016). Identification and localization of bioactive naphthoquinones in the roots and rhizosphere of Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum), a noxious invader. Journal of experimental botany 67(12), 3777-3788.

Mwendwa JM, Brown WB, Haque S, Heath G, Wu H, Quinn JC, ... and Weston LA (2016). Field evaluation of Australian wheat genotypes for competitive traits and weed suppression. In 20th Australasian Weeds Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 11-15 September 2016 (pp. 48-53). Weeds Society of Western Australia.

Mwendwa JM, Weston PA, Fomsgaard I, Laursen BB, Brown WB, Wu H, ... and Weston LA (2016). Metabolic profiling for benzoxazinoids in weed-suppressive and early vigour wheat genotypes. In 20th Australasian Weeds Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 11-15 September 2016 (pp. 353-357). Weeds Society of Western Australia.

Mwendwa J, Brown WB, Haque S, Heath G and Weston LA (2016). Mechanisms of weed suppression by wheat genotypes. Grains Research and Development. GRDC Grains Research Update, Wagga Wagga NSW, February 16, 2016.

Anwar MR, Badgery W, Mwendwa JM, Herrmann N and Moore AD (2015). Modelling the effects of mixed farming systems on soil carbon and crop-livestock productivity in central-west NSW. In 17th Australian Agronomy Conference, Hobart, Tasmania from 20 to 24 September 2015. Australian Society of Agronomy.

Weston LA, Stanton R, Wu H, Mwendwa J, Weston PA, Weidenhamer J and Brown WB (2014). Comparison of grain crops and their associated residues for weed suppression in the southern Australian mixed farming zone. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Australasian Weeds Conference 296- 299.

Peoples M, Swan T, Watson L, Hunt J, Kirkegaard J, Pearce D, Phillips L, Denton M, Browne C, Craig S, Mwendwa J, Tomlinson D and Breust P (2012). Break Crops – New focus leading to better crop sequences. GRDC Technical Research Update for Farm Advisors and Industry Specialists - NSW 2012, pp 171- 181.

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