Isotopic composition of plant carbon correlates with water-use efficiency of wheat genotypes
Variation in carbon-isotope composition among and between wheat genotypes was correlated with variation in water-use efficiency in separate pot experiments conducted in spring-summer and in winter. In the main, winter experiment, the water-use efficiencies ranged from 2.0 to 3.7 mmolC/mol H2O (means of four replicates) while the corresponding isotope effects for leaf material ranged from 1.0225 to 1.0194. 13C was more abundant in grain than in leaves and stems. It is suggested that carbon-isotope analysis may be a useful tool in selection for improved water-use efficiency in breeding programmes for C3 species.