Root and shoot attributes of indigenous perennial accessions of the wild mungbean (Vigna radiata ssp sublobata)
0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
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AbstractRoot and shoot attributes of 12 indigenous perennial accessions of the wild mungbean (Vigna radiata ssp. sublobata) were evaluated in early and late summer sowings in the field in SE Queensland. All but one of the accessions were obtained from the Townsville-Charters Towers region of NE Queensland. In both sowings, the accessions developed thickened tap and lateral roots, the taproot thickening extending to a depth of 0.20-0.30m below the soil surface, depending on accession. The thickened lateral roots emerged from the taproot within 0.10m of the soil surface, and extended laterally up to 1.10 m, remaining close to the soil surface. Differences among the accessions in gross root morphology and phenology were relatively small. There were differences among the accessions in the production of seed, tuberised root, and recovered total plant biomass. Depending on accession and sowing date, the tuberised roots accounted for up to 31% of recovered plant biomass and among accessions, the root biomass was positively correlated with total plant biomass. In contrast, seed biomass represented only a small proportion of recovered plant biomass, up to a maximum of 14%, depending on accession and sowing date. Among accessions, the proportion of seed biomass tended to be negatively correlated with that of tuber biomass. The perennial trait appears to be unique to Australian accessions of wild mungbean obtained from coastal-subcoastal, speargrass-dominant woodlands of NE Queensland. Although the ecological significance of the trait remains conjectural, field observation indicates that it facilitates rapid plant re-growth following early summer rainfall, especially where dry-season. re has removed previous-season above-ground growth.