Assessing drought tolerance in advance wheat genotypes using stress tolerance indices

Ramesh Babu Rijal 1 , Pukar Bashyal 2 , Dil Raj Yadav 3 , Koshraj Upadhyay 4 , Khem Raj Pant 5 , Nav Raj Adhikari 6

1   Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University, NEPAL
2   Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University, NEPAL
3   Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Singhdurbar Plaza, Kathmandu, NEPAL
4   Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University, NEPAL
5   Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Singhdurbar Plaza, Kathmandu, NEPAL
6   Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University, NEPAL

✉ Coressponding author: See PDF.




Wheat, an important crop of Nepal, is significantly affected by drought, leading to severe yield losses. Thus, an experiment was conducted to assess effect of drought on wheat traits and to identify drought resilient genotypes comparing stress tolerance indices. Altogether seventy-two genotypes including checks were evaluated under drought and non-stress condition in an alpha-lattice design with two replications at the research block of National Rice Research Program, Hardinath, Nepal during winter of 2019/20. Analysis of variance revealed significant genotypic differences (p<0.01) in traits such as days to heading, anthesis, and maturity, plant height, flag leaf area, spike length, grains per spike, 1000-grain weight, and grain yield under both conditions. The combined analysis of variance showed that genotype, environment, and their interaction significantly influenced most traits. The environment was the dominant factor, accounting for 86.2% of the variation in grain yield, followed by genotype (9.5%) and genotype-environment interaction (4.3%). Among the nine quantitative traits assessed, grain yield was most severely affected due to drought, experiencing a substantial reduction of 63%. To assess drought tolerance, six indices (TOL, SSI, MP, GMP, HMP, and STI) were calculated based on grain yield data. Most indices identified genotypes NL1373, NL1308, NL1407, BL4868, and BL4947 as highly drought-tolerant. Among the indices, MP, STI, and GMP were the most reliable for measuring stress tolerance due to their strong positive correlation with yield under both conditions. These identified genotypes are promising candidates for breeding programs aimed at developing drought-resilient wheat varieties, thereby enhancing food security in drought-affected regions.


Drought, Genotype, Quantitative traits, Stress tolerance indices


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How to Cite

Rijal, R. B., Bashyal, P., Yadav, D. R., Upadhyay, K., Pant, K. R., & Adhikari, N. R. (2024). Assessing drought tolerance in advance wheat genotypes using stress tolerance indices. Archives of Agriculture and Environmental Science, 9(2), 336-344.



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