Drought tolerance in wheat has been increased through breeding over the years, but a group of Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists in Amarillo wanted to determine what plant physiological characteristics were making the biggest difference.
The results of this study, "Yield Determination and Water-Use Efficiency of Wheat Under Water-Limited Conditions in the U.S. Southern High Plains," will be published in the Crop Science journal in January.
The study was completed by the AgriLife Research team of Dr. Qingwu Xue, crop stress physiologist; Dr. Jackie Rudd, wheat breeder; Dr. Shuyu Liu, small grains geneticist; Kirk Jessup, research associate; Ravindra Devkota, associate research scientist; and Dr. James Mahan, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service plant physiologist in Lubbock.
Funded in part by the Ogallala Aquifer Program and Texas Wheat Producers Board, the study featured a two-year field experiment with 10 different wheat varieties. The varieties were grown under dryland and irrigated conditions, looking primarily at yield determination and water-use efficiency.
Drought is the most important stress for reducing wheat yield and water-use efficiency in the southern High Plains states, Xue said. Adoption of varieties with higher yield and water-use efficiency under drought conditions is critical in the area.
Read more of the Phys.org article at: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-high-yield-efficiency-drought-tolerant.html