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Distinct contributions of drought avoidance and drought tolerance to yield improvement in dryland wheat cropping
【Abstract】 Crop avoidance and tolerance strategies are critical adaptive mechanisms of drought stress and play different roles in grain yield. However, little is known about the contribution of these two mechanisms to grain yield in old and modern wheat genotypes. Here, pot and field experiments were carried out to characterize and compare the mechanisms of drought avoidance and drought tolerance, and determine their differential contributions to the yield in six wheat genotypes. The pot experiment results demonstrated that the old genotypes acquired a better avoidance ability to adapt to drought stress. These avoidance abilities include larger root systems, lower leaf areas, low stomatal conductance, pale green leaf colour, higher degrees of leaf rolling and leaf waxiness. The modern genotypes displayed stronger drought tolerance advantages, such as high osmotic adjustment and antioxidant enzyme activity, and a smaller root system. Our field experiment further showed that under severe water-deficit conditions, the old genotypes with stronger drought avoidance traits had higher yields and water use efficiency (WUEg), whereas the modern genotypes with strong drought tolerance characteristics produced higher yields and had higher WUEg under mild and intermediate water deficits. The results indicate that the relative contribution of drought tolerance and drought avoidance to grain yield depends to a large extent on the degree of drought stress and genotypes. Understanding the differential plant response depending on genotype and drought stress may help plant breeders develop drought-resistant varieties suitable for drought-prone environments under anticipated climate change scenarios.
【Author】 Pu-Fang Li, Bao-Luo Ma, Jairo A. Palta, Tong-Tong Ding, Zheng-Guo Cheng, You-Cai Xiong
【Keywords】 drought avoidance, drought tolerance, dryland wheat, grain yield, root system, water use efficiency
【Journal】 Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science(IF:3) Time:2021-12-05
【DOI】 10.1111/jac.12574 [Quote]
【Link】 Article PDF
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