Assessment of drought resistance indices in spring bread wheat under various environmental conditions


S.B. Lepekhov, L.P. Khlebova

Drought stress is the most important factor limiting wheat yield in the Altai Territory, Russia. Several selection criteria have been proposed to select genotypes based on their performance in stressful and non-stressful environments. We tested seventy-five genotypes of spring bread wheat in a randomized complete block design with three replications for three years (2010-2012). The trials were conducted in the Altai Research Institute of Agriculture, Russia. Six drought resistance indices, including Sensitivity drought index (SDI), Mean productivity (MP), Tolerance index (Tol), Stress susceptibility index (SSI), Geometric mean productivity (GMP) and Stress tolerance index (STI) were calculated for each genotype based on grain yields under non-stress and three stress conditions. Stress intensity indices (SI) in the first, second, and third environments were low (SI=0.39), moderate (SI=0.56), and high (SI=0.80), respectively. We found that different indices give a similar characteristic of the most drought-resistant and drought-susceptible genotypes. SSI fully corresponds to the SDI value, and STI corresponds to the GMP value (r=1.00). Tolerance is closely related to SDI (r=0.83-0.86). SDI and SSI are offered as useful indices for wheat breeding where stress is severe, while STI, MP and GMP are suggested if stress is less severe. Genotypes with high yield potential can be identified under moderate drought, but not under severe drought stress.

Keywords: Wheat; drought; resistance indices; grain yield

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