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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 24 No. 3, p. 537-541
    Received: May 13, 1983



Growth Analysis of Spring Wheat Cultivars of Varying Drought Resistance1

  1. John M. Clarke,
  2. Fred Townley-Smith,
  3. Thomas N. McCaig and
  4. David G. Green2



Field studies were undertaken to relate dry matter accumulation and loss patterns to drought resistance and yield performance of wheat. A total of 23 hexaploid (Triticum aestivum L.) and tetraploid (T. turgidura var. durum L.) wheat genotypes were grown under rainfed field conditions at Swift Current, Saskatchewan from 1975to 1978, and under both rainfed and irrigated conditions in 1979 and 1980. Weekly dry matter samples were taken in the 1975 to 1979 trials, starting before anthesis and continuing to maturity. Growth parameters were then related to apparent drought resistance, which was characterized by comparing rainfed and irrigated yields. The genotypes were divided into drought susceptible and drought resistant groups on the basis of a drought susceptibility index. In contrast to results in some other studies, Pitic 62 appeared to be somewhat drought susceptible, perhaps because of late flowering. Mean head yield:biological yield ratios (approximation of harvest index) ranged from 0.52 to 0.60 over the 5 years, and tended to be higher under moist or irrigated conditions than under dry conditions. Significant differences in preanthesis growth rates occurred in only I of the 5 years, and did not appear to be related to drought resistance or yield. There were consistent cultivar differences in stem dry weight reduction prior to maturity, but there was no obvious relationship between this trait and drought resistance. Leaf duration after anthesis was not correlated with yield or drought susceptibility index. Growth analysis is a labor intensive procedure that is unlikely to identify traits which are strongly related to drought resistance.

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