ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 75 Number 3
Growth and yield component analysis of durum wheat as an index of selection to terminal moisture stress. (363)
Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) yields in Ethiopia are primarily limited by water deficiency. Field and greenhouse studies were conducted using five cultivars (Tob-2, DZ, Boohai, Omrabi-5, and Po) under moisture stress during the terminal period of growth and non-stress conditions to evaluate growth and some components of yield. Analysis of the relative growth rate (RGR) and its components showed significant differences between varieties. Drought-tolerant cultivars had a high RGR during favourable periods of the growing season and a low RGR during moisture stress. Path-coefficient analysis revealed that longer vegetative periods were associated with reduced grain-filling periods (GFP) and negatively associated with drought resistance. The direct effect of number of spikes m-2 (Sm-2) on grain yield (GY) was positive and significant. However, the indirect effect via kernels per spike (K/S) and kernel weight (KW) was negative. Grain-filling period had a strong influence on GY via KW. Kernels per spike had the largest direct effect on GY. Variation in drought susceptibility index among cultivars was significant. This study concluded that lower RGR, longer GFP, increased number of K/S, and limited Sm-2 can be used as selection criteria under water-limited environments for drought resistance.
Keywords: Durum wheat; Drought susceptibility index; Path-coefficient; Relative growth rate