Sibghat Ullah:
Rhizosphere processes and yield decline in wheat crop rotations (RhizoWheat)


I am a Ph.D. student in the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences Agrosphere (IBG-3) in Forschungszentrum Jülich. My Ph.D. is the part of the BMBF project “Rhizosphere processes and yield decline in wheat crop rotations (RhizoWheat)”. My research interest is modelling the effect of early root senescence on root water uptake performance.

Presentation Abstract

Wheat is one of the most important staple crops all over the world in terms of the crop area. The growth rate of wheat has increased linearly in order to cope with the surging food demand and improve food security. However at present, wheat production rate is lower than the population growth. This can be attributed to increasing portions of self-sequence of wheat i.e. when wheat is grown after wheat in crop rotations. This mono-cropping pattern results in soil-borne pathogens and Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici (take all) which causes the early root senescence of wheat and significant yield losses. Modelling is a tool to investigate the effect of early root senescence in wheat mono-cropping on root water uptake performance. A functional-structural root architecture model, CPlantBox, is used to simulate root architecture development for a standard, and a smaller (senesced) root system. Water flow in the soil and root system is simulated by coupling CPlantBox to a 3D model of water flow in soil, DuMux. Simulation results show that a smaller root system due to early root senescence can lead to earlier onset of drought stress and reduction in cumulative water uptake in years with drought spells, which suggests corresponding yield reductions.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my advisor Prof. Dr. Andrea Schnepf for the continuous support and guidance which helped me in all the time during my studies. I could not have imagined having a better advisor and mentor for my Ph.D study. My sincere thanks also goes to Prof. Dr. Henning Kage (The Project Coordinator), for sharing nice ideas and advises. I am grateful to Prof. Jan Vanderborght for always his valuable advises. Daniel Leiner always provided technical support whenever I faced difficulties. I would also like to thank my all PhD and Postdoc colleagues for their support during my Studies.