Grains Convo

Impact of long coleoptile wheat and seeding depth on ameliorated soils

DPIRD Research Scientist Dr Muhammad Javid

Enhancing wheat establishment in challenging soils: long coleoptile trait study

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), in the midwest, is looking to conduct research that will determine the value of the long coleoptile trait in improving wheat establishment and groundcover development.

The research will specifically look at loose and unconsolidated soils, ameliorated using strategic deep tillage. 

Soils researchers hope to investigate the ability of different wheats, including long-coleoptile lines, to penetrate strong soil layers of known bulk density and soil penetration resistance.

The coleoptile is the pointed protective sheath that protects the emerging shoot as it grows from the seed to the soil surface.

Modern elite wheats generally have shorter coleoptiles (40-70 mm) compared to the long coleoptiles (100-120 mm) wheats.

According to DPIRD Research Scientist Dr Muhammad Javid, the genetics of long coleoptile wheats improve their potential to penetrate soil layers when sown deeper compared with short-coleoptile wheats.

Leveraging long coleoptile wheats to address furrow infill challenges

This area of research is being considered as a result of recent figures showing that more than 51 per cent of WA grain growers practice different types of mechanical ameliorations (Research Solutions 2020).

Furrow infill, due to mechanical ameliorations, can cause poor establishment and ground cover, leading to a reduction in grain yield.

The primary advantage for grain growers in WA lies in utilising long coleoptile wheats.

These varieties contribute to enhanced crop establishment, particularly in areas with a higher risk of reduced coleoptile length due to elevated soil temperatures or a greater risk of soil furrow fill.

Promising study: long coleoptile wheat shows potential for improved establishment and yield

DPIRD Research Scientist (Wheat Agronomy) Dr Muhammad Javid said he believed that sowing long coleoptile wheat on ameliorated soils can result in greater establishment and groundcover, compared to the shorter coleoptile wheat.

“Longer coleoptile wheat has the potential to offer greater protection against soil compaction and weed competition along with the higher grain yield, compared to the common short coleoptile wheat,” Dr Javid said.


Dr Muhammad Javid 
DPIRD Research Scientist (Wheat Agronomy)  
P: (08) 9081 3111 

Dr Stephen Davies
DPIRD Research Scientist (Grains)
P: (08) 9956 8515