The productivity of modern triticales makes them increasingly viable as an alternative small grain cereal crop to durum wheat in the Mediterranean environment. A comparison between the two species was performed, based on a substantial number of cultivars tested in 20 field experiments in Sardinia (Italy). Grain yield per environment ranged from 3.4 to 7.7 tha<sup>-1</sup>; in 11 of the environments, the triticales as a group out-yielded the durum wheats, while in the remaining nine, the two species yielded equally. The superiority of triticale derived from its combination of setting a higher number of grains per unit area (reflecting greater ear fertility) and a similar per unit grain weight. Triticale is well adapted to the Mediterranean environment, provided that sowing density is no less than 300 seeds per m<sup>2</sup>, because ear fertility contributes more than tillering capacity to the number of grains set per m<sup>2</sup>. In the 20 environments tested, the generally favourable pre-anthesis period in terms of temperature and water availability assured triticale the possibility of realizing a grain yield at least comparable to that of durum wheat. At the same time triticale out-yielded durum wheat when its flowering time fell within an optimal window, and where the post-anthesis environment was not too stressful. High ear fertility should be treated as an important trait in the breeding of small grain cereals, because of its positive influence over both yield potential and yield stability.
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|Titolo:||Triticale vs durum wheat: A performance comparison in a Mediterranean environment|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|