Association of leaf chlorophyll content with the stay-green trait and grain yield in wheat grown under heat stress conditions

Roy C., Chattopadhyay T., Ranjan R.D., Ul Hasan W., Kumar A., De N. (2021): Association of leaf chlorophyll content with the stay-green trait and grain yield in wheat grown under heat stress conditions. Czech J. Genet. Plant Breed., 57: 140−148.

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Heat stress is a major production constraint of wheat in South Asia, particularly in the Gangetic plains of India and Bangladesh. The leaf chlorophyll status is a key determinant for a high rate of photosynthesis under stress. The present experiments included 238 genotypes in 2016–2017 and 321 genotypes in 2017–2018 under optimum and under heat stress conditions. Subsequently, a set of 100 genotypes selected on basis of the heat susceptibility index was evaluated in 2018–2019 under heat stress conditions to study the relationship between important physiological traits and yield under stress. A significant correlation of soil plant analysis development (SPAD) value of the two upper leaves with stay-green trait and grain yield indicates the importance of chlorophyll content, both in flag and penultimate leaf, in maintaining leaf areas under greenness (LAUG) and grain yield under heat stress. The SPAD in the flag and penultimate leaf was responsible for 8.8% and 10.9%, respectively, of the variation in grain yield. For the stay-green trait, 8.4% and 7.2 % of the variation was governed by the SPAD value in the flag and penultimate leaf, respectively. These results suggest that, in addition to the flag leaf, the chlorophyll status of the penultimate leaf can be an important criterion for the selection of superior wheat genotypes under heat stress. The genotypes SW-139; SW 108; DWR-F8-35-9-1; NHP-F8-130; DWR-F8-3-1 that maintained a high chlorophyll content in the flag and penultimate leaf can be used further in breeding programmes addressing heat resistance in wheat.

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