Transferability of Chickpea Selection Indices from Normal to Drought-prone Growing Conditions in a Mediterranean Environment
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K. B Singh, G. Bejiga, Mohan C. Saxena. (1/8/1995). Transferability of Chickpea Selection Indices from Normal to Drought-prone Growing Conditions in a Mediterranean Environment. journal of agronomy and crop science, 175 (1), pp. 57-63.
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is normally grown as a spring-sown rainfed crop in the Mediterranean region in areas receiving more than 400 mm of rainfall annually. Because of large fluctuations in the total amount and distribution of the rainfall, the crop occasionally suffers from extreme terminal drought. Breeders face a dilemma in selecting materials for both normal moisture regimes and drought conditions because it is often difficult to conduct two parallel breeding programmes. This study examines the transferability of the selection indices (developed as a multiple regression of yield on most influential traits) from one environment to another with the objective of selecting an appropriate environment for the development of cultivars adapted to both environments. Experiments were conducted for 3 years (1989-1991) during the spring at two locations with normal moisture regime (hereafter referred to as drought-free) in Syria and Lebanon and one drought-prone location in Syria. Each year, 192-240 newly bred lines were evaluated in replicated trials for seed yield, days to flowering and maturity, plant height and 100-seed weight. Correlation analyses showed that increased seed size, early maturity and reduced plant height at the drought-prone location and early maturity at the drought-free location were of prime importance in increasing seed yield. Regression equations developed to predict seed yield showed that days to flower and maturity accounted from 67-80 % variation in seed yield at the dry location, whereas at the drought-free locations the contribution of days to maturity was smaller except in 1991 in Lebanon. The percent success in the transferability of the selection indices from the drought-free environments to the drought-prone environment was higher than that from the drought-prone environment to the drought-free environment. These results indicate that chickpea breeding material developed under drought-free environments could be useful under drought-prone conditions. Early-maturing lines selected under normal environments would also perform well under drier conditions.
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