Application of Some Drought Stress Indices to Study Response of Durum Wheat Triticum durum to Different Levels of Water Depletion

Abstract

A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of five levels of soil water depletion from field capacity (30, 40, 50, 60, and 70%) on some growth, yield and yield components of durum wheat (Triticum durum L.) VAR-ACSAD/65, with testing ten stress and drought indices to indicate the suitable index that could be simply used to interpret drought stress conditions. Results indicated significant effect of soil water depletion levels on wheat plant height, tillers per plant, spikes per plant, spike length, and total chlorophyll content, increasing water depletion levels decreased all recorded data. The effect on spike numbers per plant; spike length; number of seeds per spike; 1000 seeds weight (gm); seed yield per plant; straw yield per plant; biological yield per plant and harvest index were negatively dependent on drought stress to the level of no seed yield under the highest water depletion level 70%. Drought indices could classify to three categories; unity to zero, zero to higher value, high values to lower values. The relationship between drought indices were either positive or negatively correlated to plant seed yield. All studied crop drought indices were suitable for studying crop drought cases. The wheat variety acsad/65 was sensitive to drought stress.