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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 8581072, 16 pages
Research Article

Leaf Senescence, Root Morphology, and Seed Yield of Winter Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus L.) at Varying Plant Densities

1Oil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Key Laboratory of Oil Crop Biology of the Ministry of Agriculture, Key Laboratory of Crop Cultivation and Physiology, Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430062, China
2Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan
3Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Allama Iqbal Road, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan
4Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Ni Ma; nc.saac@inam and Chunlei Zhang; nc.saac@ielnuhcgnahz

Received 27 March 2017; Accepted 5 June 2017; Published 3 August 2017

Academic Editor: Atanas Atanassov

Copyright © 2017 Ming Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study, the yield and yield components were studied using a conventional variety Zhongshuang 11 (ZS 11) and a hybrid variety Zhongyouza 12 (ZYZ 12) at varying plant densities. The increase in plant density led to an initial increase in seed yield and pod numbers per unit area, followed by a decrease. The optimal plant density was 58.5 × 104 plants ha−1 in both ZS 11 and ZYZ 12. The further researches on physiological traits showed a rapid decrease in the green leaf area index (GLAI) and chlorophyll content and a remarkable increase in malondialdehyde content in high plant density (HPD) population than did the low plant density (LPD) population, which indicated the rapid leaf senescence. However, HPD had higher values in terms of pod area index (PAI), pod photosynthesis, and radiation use efficiency (RUE) after peak anthesis. A significantly higher level of dry matter accumulation and nitrogen utilization efficiency were observed, which resulted in higher yield. HPD resulted in a rapid decrease in root morphological parameters (root length, root tips, root surface area, and root volume). These results suggested that increasing the plant density within a certain range was a promising option for high seed yield in winter rapeseed in China.