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Investigation of water retention capacity (WRC) as a new physiological indicator related to plant water status for screening drought tolerant genotypes in wheat

Research Paper | November 1, 2013

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Hojjat Hasheminasab, Ezatollah Farshadfar, Anita Yaghotipoor

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.3( 11), 133-145, November 2013


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In developing a breeding program to improve the drought tolerance of a crop plant it is necessary to gain knowledge about the physiological mechanisms of tolerance. In order to introduce and evaluate water retention capacity (WRC) as a new physiological indicator related to plant water status for screening drought tolerant genotypes, fifteen bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes with wide range of sensitivity to drought were used in a randomized complete block design with three replications under two different environments (irrigated and rainfed) in 2012-2013 at the experimental farm of College of Agriculture, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran. The results of the present study showed that considerable variations among genotypes for WRC were observed when grown under water stress and non-stress conditions. The highest WRC were observed in tolerant genotypes Pishtaz, Azar2, Rijaw and Chamran, and the lowest in susceptible genotypes Alamut, Zarin, Flat, Shiraz and Bahar under stress condition. The intermediate ratios were observed in Tabasi, Roshan, Niknejad and Darab2 (intermediate genotypes). The results of different statistical methods used in this study showed that WRC had a close relationship with relative water content (RWC). The visualizing graphic of scatter plot and biplot of principal component analysis identified WRC, RWC, relative water protection (RWP) and Canopy temperature depression (CTD) as the best indicators for screening drought tolerant genotypes. Discriminant and canonical discriminant functions analysis provided strong statistical evidence of significant differences among the genotypic groups for WRC, RWP, RWC, yield stability index (YSI) and relative water loss (RWL) with producing low Wilks’ lambda. Our results suggested that WRC was a reliable index for classification and separation of drought tolerant genotypes.


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