Evaluation of Water Stress on Yield, Its Components and Some Physiological Traits at Different Growth Stages in Grain Sorghum Genotypes
Investigation on yield improvement and development under drought condition using breeding techniques is difficult, due to the association with low heritability of specific traits. Even more, investigation of physiological indicators (stomatal conductance, chlorophyll index, relative water content, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy temperature, radiation use efficiency, stay-green etc.) is of interest as they are more accessible, with a low cost, therefore these indicators of physiological traits can be used as good criteria in selecting valuable species. In order to evaluate the effects of water stress on grain yield, its components and some physiological traits of grain sorghum genotypes (Sorghum bicolor L.), a field experiment using split plot design with three replications was carried. The main plots included three water stress treatments: normal irrigation as control, halting irrigation at the stage of terminal leaf emergence and halting irrigation at the stage of 50% flowering. The sub-plots included 10 genotypes of sorghum (‘KGS29’, ‘MGS2’, ‘Sepideh’, ‘KGFS27’, ‘MGS5’, ‘KGFS5’, ‘KGFS17’, ‘KGFS13’ and ‘KGFS30’). Results showed that water stress significantly decreased grain yield and its components (1,000 seed weight, number of seed per panicle) and had various effects on physiological traits. The water stress increased canopy temperature and radiation use efficiency, while stomatal conductance, chlorophyll index (SPAD) and stay-green of genotypes were decreased; the maximum efficiency of photosystem II of photosynthesis remained unchanged between the treatments. Genotypes turned out to have significantly different responses to the drought treatments for all the studied traits, indicating the existence of a high variability among them. In general, physiological traits could be used as good indicators in water stress investigations and might provide comprehensive information as compared with morphological traits.
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