Increased night temperature negatively affects grain yield, biomass and grain number in Chilean quinoa

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Quinoa high nutritive value increases interest worldwide, especially as a crop that could potentially feature in different cropping systems, however, climate change, particularly rising temperatures, challenges this and other crop species. Currently, only limited knowledge exists regarding the grain yield and other key traits response to higher temperatures of this crop, especially to increased night temperatures. In this context, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of increased night temperature on quinoa yield, grain number, individual grain weight and processes involved in crop growth under the environmental conditions (control treatment) and night thermal increase at two phases: flowering (T1) and grain filling (T2) in southern Chile. A commercial genotype, Regalona, and a quinoa accession (Cod. BO5, N°191, grain bank from Semillas Baer, hereby referred to as Accession) were used, due to their adaptability to Southern Chilean conditions and contrasting grain yield potential, grain weight and size of plants. Temperature was increased ≈4°C above the ambient from 8 pm until 9 am the next morning. Control treatments reached a high grain yield (600 and 397 g m-2, i.e., Regalona and Accession). Temperature increase reduced grain yield by 31% under T1 treatment and 12% when under T2 in Regalona and 23 and 26% in Accession, respectively. Aboveground biomass was negatively affected by the thermal treatments and a positive linear association was found between grain yield and aboveground biomass across treatments. By contrast, the harvest index was unaffected either by genotype, or by thermal treatments. Grain number was significantly affected between treatments and this key trait was linearly associated with grain yield. On the other hand, grain weight showed a narrow range of variation across treatments. Additionally, leaf area index was not affected, but significant differences were found in SPAD values at the end of T1 treatment, compared to control. Little change was found in the harvest index, individual grain weight, grain protein content or water soluble carbohydrates in response to the increased night temperature in this crop.




Lesjak, J., & Calderini, D. F. (2017). Increased night temperature negatively affects grain yield, biomass and grain number in Chilean quinoa. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8.

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