Genotypic Sensitivity to Drought and Yield Potential of Peanut
- R. C. Nageswara Rao ,
- J. H. Williams and
- Murari Singh
It is important to understand genotype ✕ drought pattern (timing, duration) interactions in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) to develop managerial and breeding strategies for improving and stabilizing yields in drought-prone areas or in environments with limited water resources. This study investigated genotypic sensitivity to various patterns of drought (yield decrease per unit of water deficit) and its relationship with yield potential (yield under nonstressed conditions) in a range of peanut genotypes grown on a medium deep Alfisol at ICRISAT center, Patancheru, A.P. India. In the first experiment, 22 peanut genotypes of similar maturity were evaluted in 12 drought patterns. Single and multiple periods of water deficits were created during various crop growth phases. In the second and third experiments, 60 and 64 genotypes were subjected to droughts during pod set and seed filling stages, respectively. When water deficit occurred during seed filling phase, genotypic yield potential accounted for approximately 90% of the variation in pod yield sensitivity to water deficits. It is unlikely, therefore, that breeders will be able to combine high yield potential with low sensitivity to drought spanning the seed-filling phase, therefore other improvement strategies are necessary. Pod field potential accounted for less of the variation in drought sensitivity (15 to 64%) in early and midseason droughts. For these circumstances it may be possible to identify genotypes with both high yield potential and relatively low drought sensitivity.
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