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Evaluating spring wheat cultivars for drought tolerance through yield and physiological parameters at booting and anthesis

MJ Baloch
Jim Dunwell
Mike Dennet
Zia ul-hassan
I Rajpar
Wajid Ali Jatoi
NF Veesar


Progress in wheat yields under drought conditions is rather a difficult task to achieve. The experiment was conducted in factorial design with 16 spring wheat cultivars grown under two irrigation regimes, non-stress and water-stress imposed at boot and anthesis growth stages. Water-stress significantly influenced the physiological and yield traits in both the growth stages, yet the reductions in most traits were pronounced at anthesis than at boot. Stomatal conductance, relative water content, leaf area (LA), seeds/spike, 1000-grain weight and grain yield/plant were the best drought tolerant indicators. On the basis of physiological and yield traits, the cultivars Moomal, Bhitai, TD-1, and Abadgar proved to be the best performing in water-stress conditions. Stomatal conductance, RWC% and LA were significantly and positively correlated with grain yield/plant. These results suggest that the stomatal conductance, relative water content and leaf area are the most important traits that should be considered while developing drought tolerant wheat genotypes.

Keywords: Water stress, boot and anthesis, yield and physiological traits, wheat genotypes

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eISSN: 1684-5315