Water and radiation use efficiency in different developmental stages in four bread wheat cultivars under moisture stress conditions


1 Scientific member, Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Center of Khorasan Province, Mashhad, Iran

2 Scientific member, Seed and Seedling Improvement Research Institute, Karaj, Iran

3 Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Associate professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran



This research was conducted in Toroq Experimental field station, Mashhad, Iran, for two successive cropping seasons (2000-2002), using split plot experimental design based on complete randomized blocks with three replications. Moisture stress treatments (at seven levels) were assigned to main plots, including: D1 ( full irrigation), D2 (no irrigation from one-leaf to double ridge) stage, and in other treatments, no irrigation and preventing rainfall as: D3 (from one-leaf to floral initiation stage), D4 (from floral initiation to the commencement of stem elongation or Terminal spikelet), D5 ( from commencement of stem elongation to flag leaf emergence), D6 (from flag leaf emergence to anthesis) and D7 (from anthesis to the soft dough), and four wheat cultivars, namely: Roshan, Qods, Marvdasht and Chamran, were sown in sub plots. The results of combined analysis of variance showed that the effect of moisture stress was significant. Applying D5, D6 and D7 treatments reduced the grain yield in comparison with control (D1) by 36.7, 22.8 and 45.6, respectively. Severe moisture stress treatments (D5 and D7) caused a reduction in water use efficiency (WUE) and radiation use efficiency (RUE), due mainly to reduction of dry matter. Based on these results, grain filling (D7) and fast growing (D5) stages of wheat were more sensitive to moisture stress. Genotypic differences were also observed with respect to concerned characteristics. Chamran had a higher moisture tolerance, therefore, greater grain yield as compared with the other cultivars.

Keywords: Moisture stress; Developmental Stages; Water Use Efficiency; Radiation Use Efficiency; Grain yield