Exploring genotypic variation and assessment of stress selection indices for some productive traits in bread wheat
In the current scenario of climatic change, exploration and development of new stable genotypes performing better under stressed and non stressed environmental conditions is the priority of wheat breeders for exploiting genetic variability to improve stress tolerant cultivars. Late planting is one of the major abiotic stresses, seriously influencing wheat production. In the current study, twenty eight bread wheat genotypes were evaluated independently under normal (optimal) and late (stress) planting conditions at Cereal Crops Research Institute (CCRI), Pirsabak Nowshera Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan during 2013-14. Analysis of variance revealed highly significant (P < 0.01) differences among the genotypes, planting (sowing dates), and genotype ? sowing dates interactions effects for the studied traits. Generally, reduction in plant height (0.41 to 10.91%) and grain yield (0.36 to 53.35%) was observed among the tested genotypes under late planting as compared to normal (optimal) planting. Least % reduction in grain yield was recorded for genotypes BWL-23 (0.36%), BWL-4(0.76%), BWL-16(1.22%) and BWL-13 (1.78%) and were found tolerant to late planting stress as compared to check (Pirsabak-2008). Eight stress selection indices i.e. Mean productivity (MP), Tolerance (TOL), Geometric Mean Productivity (GMP), Harmonic mean (HM), Stress selection Indices(SSI), Stress Tolerance Index (STI), Yield Index (YI) and Yield Stability Index (YSI) were determined based on mean performance of genotypes evaluated under normal and late planting conditions. Analysis of correlation revealed that plant height and grain yield under normal and late planting conditions, had significant positive correlation with stress selection indices i.e. GM, HM, SSI and YI. These selection indices could be effective in identification of lines/ genotypes to late planting stress tolerant conditions. Based on MP, GMP, HM, STI and YI genotypes i.e. Pirsabak-2008, BWL-23 and BWL-27 were found late planting stress tolerant and could be recommended for sowing in both normal and late planting.