Assessment of wheat cultivars for drought tolerance via osmotic stress imposed at early seedling growth stages
Baloch, M. J., Dunwell, J., Khakwani, A. A., Dennett, M., Jatoi, W. A. and Channa, S. A. (2012) Assessment of wheat cultivars for drought tolerance via osmotic stress imposed at early seedling growth stages. Journal of Agricultural Research, 50 (3). pp. 299-310.
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A study was conducted in the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics,Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan during the year 2009. Sixteen spring wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.) were screened under osmotic stress with three treatments i.e. control-no PEG (polyethylene glycol), 15 percent and 25 percent PEG-6000 solution. The analysis of variance indicated significant differences among treatments for all seedling traits except seed germination percentage. Varieties also differed significantly in germination percentage, coleoptile length, shoot root length, shoot weight, root/shoot ratio and seed vigour index. However, shoot and root weights were non-significant. Significant interactions revealed that cultivars responded variably to osmotic stress treatments; hence provided better opportunity to select drought tolerant cultivars at seedling growth stages. The relative decrease over averages due to osmotic stress was 0.8 percent in seed germination, 53 percent in coleoptile length 62.9 percent in shoot length, 74.4 percent in root length, 50.6 percent in shoot weight, 45.1 percent in root weight, 30.2 percent in root/shoot ratio and 68.5 percent in seed vigour index. However, relative decrease of individual variety for various seedling traits could be more meaningful which indicated that cultivar TD-1 showed no reduction in coleoptile length, while minimum decline was noted in Anmol. For shoot length, cultivar Sarsabz expressed minimum reduction followed by Anmol. However, cultivars Anmol, Moomal, Inqalab-91, and Pavan gave almost equally lower reductions for root length suggesting their higher stress tolerance. In other words, cultivars Anmol, Moomal, Inqalab-91, Sarsabz, TD-1, ZA-77 and Pavan had relatively longer coleoptiles, shoots and roots, and were regarded as drought tolerant. Correlation coefficients among seedlings traits were significant and positive for all traits except germination percentage which had no significant correlation with any of other trait. The results indicated that increase in one trait may cause simultaneous increase in other traits; hence selection for any of these seedling attributes will lead to develop drought tolerant wheat cultivars.
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