Response of wheat genotypes to sowing date and boron fertilization aimed at controlling sterility in a rice-wheat rotation in Nepal

K. D. Subedi, C. B. Budhathoki, M. Subedi, D. G.C. Yubak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spikelet sterility in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is emerging as a production threat in different parts of Nepal. This study was aimed at determining the effects of sowing date and boron application in controlling spikelet sterility in four different genotypes of spring wheat in a rice-wheat system in the western hills of Nepal. Four genotypes of known different responses to boron were planted on 21 November, 6 December and 21 December, 1994 with or without boron application at 1 kg B ha-1 (i.e. 9 kg borax ha-1) on a soil that was known to be deficient in boron. The effect of sowing date was significant for the phenology, yield components, percentage sterility and grain yield. Sterility was significantly increased in the crop planted on 21 December, which had also the lowest 1000 seed weight and grain yield; there was an almost 50% grain yield reduction compared to the crop planted on 21 November. Terminal moisture stress (i.e. lack of moisture during the later part of the development) was observed in the late sown crop which also amplified the extent of sterility associated with boron deficiency. Genotypes differed in response to sowing dates and boron treatment for all of the phenological events measured, yield components, grain yield and percentage sterility. SW-41 and BL-1022 had significantly higher sterility at all sowing dates. BL- 1249 showed a consistently lower% sterility over all sowing dates and boron treatments. The addition of boron significantly increased the number of grains set per spike thereby decreasing the total sterility in boron responsive genotypes SW-41 and BL- 1022 while those not susceptible did not respond. The boron concentration in the flag leaf at anthesis was increased in treatments with added B in the soil but genotypes did not differ in boron concentration for any soil treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Boron
  • Rice-wheat rotation
  • Sterility
  • Time of sowing
  • Triticum aestivum
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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