Drought is a wide-spread problem seriously influencing wheat production and quality, but development of resistant cultivars is hampered by lack of effective selection criteria. Based on recent rates of increase, the world population is expected to double from 6 billion in the next 50 years. Proper management of input using modern technology, particularly irrigation water management, is essential to maximize crop production and return for the farmers. Fourteen wheat genotypes (Triticum aestivum L.) were grown under two environments (irrigated and rain-fed) to determine morphological and phenological responses to drought. The results of combined analysis of variance for spike length, awn length, peduncle length, plant height, days to heading, grains/spike and grain yield indicated that genotypic differences were significant (P<0.01). No significant effect was observed for spike length under each of stress and non-stress conditions. The highest peduncle length was observed for Marvdasht followed by M-83-6 and M-81-13 under rain-fed conditions. Grain yield was positively correlated with spike length, peduncle length and grain/spike, but negatively correlated with plant height in the both environments. Average grain yield in rain-fed conditions was 11.26% lower than that in irrigated conditions. Marvdasht cultivar (G13) had the highest grain yield in both conditions, while the lowest grain yield belonged to accessions 1 and 4 (Hamam-4). Marvdasht, M-81-13, WS-82-9, PYN and Shiraz were the most productive genotypes in irrigated conditions but in rain-fed site, Marvdasht followed by M-81-13, M-83-6, STAR, M-79-7 and TEVEES had the highest grain yield. Marvdasht was the superior wheat genotype under both rain-fed and irrigated conditions.
Key words: Awn length, drought, peduncle length, spike length, wheat genotypes.
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