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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2018)

Early generation selection of bread wheat (triticum aestivum L.) genotypes for drought tolerance

Shamuyarira, Kwame Wilson.

Titre : Early generation selection of bread wheat (triticum aestivum L.) genotypes for drought tolerance.

Auteur : Shamuyarira, Kwame Wilson.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Master of Science (MSc) in Plant Breeding 2018

Résumé partiel
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is the third most important cereal crop after rice and maize globally. Dryland wheat production in South Africa is challenged by recurrent drought leading to low profitability for farmers. Development of drought tolerant wheat genotypes presents the most sustainable strategy to mitigate the effects of drought stress associated with climate change. In an attempt to develop drought tolerant wheat genotypes, the wheat research group at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Council-Small Grain Institute (ARC-SGI) developed a breeding population and advanced it to the F2 generation. The breeding population was developed through crosses involving selected promising parents with local drought susceptible cultivars. The F2 families need to be advanced to the F3 generation and selected for genetic advancement with regards to drought tolerance and important agronomic traits. Therefore, the overall objective of this study was to select superior drought tolerant bread wheat families at the F3 generation for further screening in advanced generations. The specific objectives of the study were : 1) to undertake early generation selection of wheat genotypes for drought tolerance and agronomic traits for genetic advancement, 2) to determine the combining ability effects and the mode of gene action that controls yield and yield components in selected wheat genotypes under drought-stressed and non-stressed conditions, and 3) to assess the association between yield and yield-components in wheat and identify the most important components to improve grain yield and drought tolerance. Seventy-eight genotypes consisting of 12 parents and their 66 F3 families were evaluated using a 13 x 6 alpha-lattice design with two replications in two contrasting water regimes under greenhouse and field conditions in the 2017/2018 growing season. The following agronomic traits were assessed : number of days to heading (DTH), days to maturity (DTM), plant height (PH), productive tiller number (TN), spike length (SL), spikelets per spike (SPS), kernels per spike (KPS), thousand kernel weight (TKW), fresh biomass (BI) and grain yield (GY). Highly significant differences (P<0.05) were observed for the assessed traits among the genotypes under the two water regimes. Variance components and heritability estimates among agronomic traits and yield showed high values for days to heading and fresh biomass under drought stress.

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