Breeding for drought tolerance and improved water-use efficiency is important in order to use the water for irrigation more efficiently. Twelve wheat genotypes were grown under conditions of late drought in Northwest Mexico. Under these conditions, the extent of root exploration for the available soil moisture reserves is often a major determinant of drought tolerance. Distribution of root—length density (RLD) was assessed in the soil profile (0–100 cm soil depth).Most of the RLD was accumulated in the upper soil layers, however, with genotypic differences. Higher RLD across all soil depths was not responsible for improved water-use efficiency. Averaged across soil depth, the largest root fresh weight was observed in a drought-susceptible check. Grain yield was negatively correlated with RLD in the upper soil layer, but was not correlated with RLD in the deeper soil. Drought-susceptible genotypes had most of their roots restricted to the upper soil, while drought-resistant genotypes had high RLD deeper in the soil profile. Genotypes were identified to be used in a breeding program as donor parents to increase RLD for utilizing subsoil moisture and enhancing grain yield in late-drought environments.
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- Root Morphology of Wheat Genotypes Grown in Residual Moisture
Maarten van Ginkel
Paul L. G. Vlek
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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