Near isogenic lines (NILs) varying for reduced height (Rht) and photoperiod insensitivity (Ppd-D1) alleles in a cv. Mercia background (rht (tall), Rht-B1b, Rht-D1b, Rht-B1c, Rht8c+Ppd-D1a, Rht-D1c, Rht12) were compared for interception of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), radiation use efficiency (RUE), above-ground biomass (AGB), harvest index (HI), height, weed prevalence, lodging and grain yield, at one field site but within contrasting (‘organic’ v ‘conventional’) rotational and agronomic contexts, in each of three years. In the final year, further NILs (rht (tall), Rht-B1b, Rht-D1b, Rht-B1c, Rht-B1b+Rht-D1b, Rht-D1b+Rht-B1c) in Maris Huntsman and Maris Widgeon backgrounds were added together with 64 lines of a doubled haploid (DH) population [Savannah (Rht-D1b) × Renesansa (Rht-8c+Ppd-D1a)]. There were highly significant genotype × system interactions for grain yield, mostly because differences were greater in the conventional system than in the organic system. Quadratic fits of NIL grain yield against height were appropriate for both systems when all NILs and years were included. Extreme dwarfing was associated with reduced PAR, RUE, AGB, HI, and increased weed prevalence. Intermediate dwarfing was often associated with improved HI in the conventional system, but not in the organic system. Heights in excess of the optimum for yield were associated particularly with reduced HI and, in the conventional system, lodging. There was no statistical evidence that optimum height for grain yield varied with system although fits peaked at 85cm and 96cm in the conventional and organic systems, respectively. Amongst the DH lines, the marker for Ppd-D1a was associated with earlier flowering, and just in the conventional system also with reduced PAR, AGB and grain yield. The marker for Rht-D1b was associated with reduced height, and again just in the conventional system, with increased HI and grain yield. The marker for Rht8c reduced height, and in the conventional system only, increased HI. When using the System × DH line means as observations grain yield was associated with height and early vegetative growth in the organic system, but not in the conventional system. In the conventional system, PAR interception after anthesis correlated with yield. Savannah was the highest yielding line in the conventional system, producing significantly more grain than several lines that out yielded it in the organic system
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