Evaluation of Drought Tolerance among Elite Indian Bread Wheat Cultivars
Thirty diverse elite Indian wheat genotypes varying in their yield performance and drought tolerance were evaluated to examine differences for some drought tolerance characters and to determine relationship between these characters. Genotypes differed in their response for grain yield, days to heading, excised-leaf water loss and relative water content under both conditions over years. Under irrigated conditions differences in the genotypes for water retention traits were not clear. The varieties HPW251, Hindi 62, HPW184, VL 892 and VL 907 showed a good combination of drought resistance, water retention and high grain yield, whereas C 306, VL 421 and NI 5439 had high grain yield only under drought stress conditions and showed better water retention in the leaves. These genotypes may be used for exploitation of drought tolerance in wheat breeding programmes. Drought response index (DRI) appeared to be an important trait as the genotypes having high DRI values also had high grain yield, high water retention and low score of drought susceptibility index (DSI) under drought stress.
Keywordsbread wheat drought tolerance drought response index drought susceptibility index relative water content excised leaf water loss
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