Early silique-shedding wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.) phenotypes persist in a long-term harvest weed seed control managed field in Western Australia


This study introduces a wild radish population collected from Yelbeni in the Western Australian grainbelt that evolved an early silique abscission (shedding) trait to persist despite long-term harvest weed seed control (HWSC) use. In 2017, field-collected seed (known herein as Yelbeni) was compared to surrounding ruderal and field-collected populations in a fully randomized common garden study.


The Yelbeni population exhibited a higher rate of silique abscission when compared to the ruderal populations collected from the site before wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) harvest (assessed at soft dough stage, Zadoks 83). A similar common garden study was conducted in the subsequent season (2018) using progeny reproduced on a single site without stress. The HWSC-selected progeny (Yelbeni P) shed 1048 (±288) siliques before wheat maturity at the soft dough stage (Zadoks 83) compared to 25 (±7) siliques from the pooled control populations. The Yelbeni P population only flowered 6 days earlier (FT50 as determined by log-logistic analysis) than pooled control populations, which is unlikely to fully account for the increased rate of silique abscission. The Yelbeni P population also located its lowest siliques below the lowest height for harvest interception (10 cm), which is likely to increase HWSC evasion. The mechanism inducing early silique-shedding is yet to be determined; however, wild radish is known for its significant genetic variability and has demonstrated its capacity to adapt to environmental and management stresses.


This study demonstrates that the repeated use of HWSC can lead to the selection of HWSC-avoidance traits including early silique-shedding before harvest and/or locating siliques below the harvest cutting height for interception.

View publication here.

Keywords: flowering adaptation, harvest weed seed control, shedding, silique, wild radish, wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Publication Year: 2024

Authors: Michael Ashworth, Roberto Lujan Rocha, Shane Baxter and Ken Flower

Get access to short and sharp insights into the world of more crop, fewer weeds with AHRI Insight.
Subscribe Now