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Agronomic performance of chickpea affected by drought stress at different growth stages

Sachdeva, S., Bharadwaj, C., Patil, B.S., Pal, M., Roorkiwal, M. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2022) Agronomic performance of chickpea affected by drought stress at different growth stages. Agronomy, 12 (5). Article 995.

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Susceptibility to drought stress has restrained chickpea productivity at a global level, and the development of drought-tolerant varieties is essential to maintain its productivity. Therefore, the present study was conducted to evaluate genetic divergence in selected genotypes of chickpea and their morpho-physiological responses under irrigated and stressed conditions to identify the traits that account for the better performance of these genotypes under stressed conditions, as well as genotypes with improved drought tolerance. The genotypes were evaluated for two years under irrigated and drought stressed conditions, and significant variation was found amongst the genotypes for different morpho-physiological and yield traits. The maximum reduction was observed for plant yield (33.23%) under stressed conditions. Principle component analysis (PCA)-based biplots and correlation studies established its strong positive correlation with relative water content (RWC), membrane stability index (MSI), chlorophyll index (CI), secondary branches (SB) and yield traits and negative correlations with drought susceptibility index (DSI), days to maturity (DM) and 100 seed weight (100 SW) under drought stress, suggesting their use in selecting drought-tolerant germplasm. Ten genotypes with high values of RWC, MSI, CI, SB, yield traits and lower DSI were identified as drought-tolerant and might serve as ideal donors in the forthcoming breeding of elite chickpea cultivars. The seed-filling stage began earlier in these genotypes, with significantly reduced days to maturity under stressed conditions. Our results indicate selection for earliness offers a promising strategy for the development of drought-tolerant chickpea cultivars.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Food Futures Institute
Centre for Crop and Food Innovation
Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors
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