Drought-induced change in yield capacity of ten wheat cultivars in relation to their vegetative characteristics at heading stage.Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2019; 25(5):1137-1148PM
Ten wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars were tested in a semi-field experiment for drought response in terms of their flag leaf vigor, whole shoot growth and ultimate yield capacity. At booting stage, 25% of field capacity was held for 3 weeks, then the plants were normally irrigated. Based on split plot analysis of the pooled data, the order in which the source of variation could affect the estimated traits was watering level, then cultivar and finally the combination of both. At p ≤ 0.05, significant positive linear correlation was recorded between the drought-induced change in grain total carbohydrate content and leaf total carbohydrate content, between biological yield and each of water use efficiency for biomass and evapotranspiration efficiency as well as between economic yield and each of leaf catalase activity, water use efficiency for grain and hundred kernel mass. On contrary, significant negative correlation was recorded between the drought-induced change in shoot evapotranspiration rate and each of leaf proline content and shoot water content. Based on the drought-induced change in the estimated vegetative and yield traits, cluster analysis could sequester the concerned cultivars into drought-tolerant, moderate and sensitive ones; with Sids 13 being the most drought-tolerant cultivar as well as Shandaweel 1 and Giza 168 as the most drought-sensitive ones.