Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 9, Issue 3&4,2011
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Physiological responses of tolerant spring wheat lines under water stress


Sima Taheri 1*, Jalal Saba 2, Farid Shekari 2, Thohirah Lee Abdullah 3

Recieved Date: 2011-06-30, Accepted Date: 2011-10-02


As one of the most important ecological factors determining crop growth and development, water deficit plays a very important role in inhibiting the yields of crops. Improving crop resistance to drought, both through traditional breeding and biotechnology- based approaches is important. Drought leads to a variety of biochemical, physiological and metabolic changes in plants. At present, most researchers are focused on how to maintain the best economic productivity and highest water use efficiency in arid and semi-arid areas. This study was conducted to extract the probable correlation between different traits and stress tolerance index (STI) of wheat lines. It was also conducted to estimate the direct and indirect effects and heritability of these traits to provide plant breeders useful information regarding drought resistance in wheat breeding. Seventeen wheat lines, with variable responses for drought stress, were evaluated in two different levels of stress: (a) without stress and (b) with stress. Different physiological traits, such as relative water content (RWC), stomatal conductivity, rate of water loss of excised-leaf (RWL), cell membrane stability (CMS), canopy temperature, osmotic adjustment (OA) and water use efficiency (WUE), were measured during growth season. The experiment was conducted in a split block design in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The normal and stress levels were the main plots and wheat lines were the sub plots. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences of WUE, RWL and CMS among lines, showing the potential genetic variations of the mentioned traits. In the estimation of correlation coefficients between traits and STI in both normal and stress environments, there was a positive and significant correlation for RWC, OA, CMS and WUE. Between stomatal conductivity, RWL and canopy temperature with STI observed a negative and significant correlation. In path analysis, only WUE had direct effect on STI. Based on these results and from a high broad sense heritability estimated for WUE, it can be concluded that selection for water use efficiency will be effective in wheat breeding for drought resistance.


Drought resistance, broad sense heritability, path analysis, physiological traits, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2011
Volume: 9
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 545-551

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