Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding

Genetic variability for root traits and its role in adaptation under conservation agriculture in spring wheat

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Breeding wheat for improved root traits and suitability
under conservation agriculture (CA) practices has the
potential to boost and sustain grain yield in different parts
of the world. Difficulties in scoring for root phenes under
field conditions, considered a major hurdle to breed for
root traits, can be surmounted by scoring under hydroponic
conditions. Significant variability was found for rooting
depth (RD), shoot dry weight (SDW) and root dry weight
(RDW) when 175 genotypes were screened for root traits
under hydroponic conditions. Further evaluation of a
subset of 19 genotypes under field conditions showed that
four root traits - total root length (TRL), root volume (RV),
root surface area (RSA) and root tip numbers (RN) are
integrated with RDW because of their positive correlation
with this trait. Both RDW and SDW could be combined
favorably to obtain the most appropriate (higher) biomass
and greater yield under a set of crop growth durations.
Significant correlation and strong direct effect of RDW on
crop yield under CA appeared to justify its selection in the
breeding programme. A derivative of the cross EGPSN-36/
PBW343 showed maximum value for all root traits including
RDW and therefore can be used in future breeding
programmes.

Keywords: Root traits, grain yield, conservation agriculture, spring wheat, hydroponic

Info

Year: 2021
Volume: 81
Issue: 1
Article DOI: 10.31742/IJGPB.81.1.2
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906

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