COMPARATIVE CHARACTERIZATION OF WHEAT VARIETIES FOR YIELD AND RELATED TRAITS UNDER DROUGHT STRESS
Keywords:Drought tolerance, Wheat, Food security, Phenotyping, Morphology
This study aims to evaluate the performance of selected wheat varieties under the world's most prevalent and increasing drought conditions and to recommend suitable drought-resistant varieties to the farming community to increase yields even under stressful conditions to meet growing food needs. For this purpose, seven wheat genotypes were grown in sandy loam soil at the experimental field area of the College of Agriculture, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Bahadur sub-campus Layyah, during 2020-21. Data were collected for the number of tillers, spikelets, flag leaf length, plant height, thousand-grain weight, spike length, and grain yield per plant. The results showed variation in the production level of wheat genotypes under control and different drought stress levels. Analysis of variance exhibited highly significant differences for all the seven characters studied. Based on mean performance Fakhar-e-Bhakkar, Gold, and Faisalabad may be top contributors to grain yield. The highest positive correlation indicates a highly significant and positive correlation between all measured morphological parameters of wheat genotypes. Path coefficient analysis recommended maximum positive direct and indirect effects on yield except for spike length. All of the genotypes performed well, even in drought conditions. However, all genotypes have some excellent features producing genetic diversity in germplasm. Therefore, these traits may be helpful for wheat breeding programs in the future.
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