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Understanding the role of physiological and agronomical traits during drought recovery as a determinant of differential drought stress tolerance in barley


Hasanuzzaman, Md and Shabala, L and Brodribb, TJ and Zhou, Meixue and Shabala, S, Understanding the role of physiological and agronomical traits during drought recovery as a determinant of differential drought stress tolerance in barley, Agronomy, 12, (9) Article 2136. ISSN 2073-4395 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (https:// 4.0/).

DOI: doi:10.3390/agronomy12092136


The fast and efficient recovery could be an important trait defining the efficacy of plant drought adaptation. In this work, we aimed to develop a set of simple and appropriate physiological proxies that could be used as reliable indicators to predict plant drought responses and validate the role of specific physiological traits such as root length, stomata density, and residual transpiration, in the drought tolerance and recovery in barley. Eighty barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes were subjected to progressive droughting until the soil moisture level reached 10%, followed by rewatering. Plants were visually scored at the end of drought period and two weeks after rewatering. SPAD values and chlorophyll fluorescence Fv/Fm ratio were also measured, alongside with stomatal density (SD) and residual transpiration (RT). The same genotypes were germinated in paper rolls treated with 15% (w/v) of polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8000 by quantification of changes in the root growth patterns. Responses to drought stress varied among the genotypes, and drought tolerance and recovery scores were significantly correlated with each other. Changes in SPAD value, Fv/Fm ratio and root length were significantly correlated with the drought tolerance and recovery indices. Both indices correlated strongly with the SD and RT of irrigated plants, although in an unexpected direction. We have also correlated the extent of plants' drought tolerance to their ability to grow in saline soils (a condition often termed a "physiological drought") and found a positive association between these two traits. The fact that drought tolerant genotype also possessed higher salinity tolerance implies some common mechanisms conferring both traits. Plants having less SD and more RT under irrigated conditions showed higher drought tolerance. It is concluded that lower SD and higher RT under optimal conditions may be used as proxies for drought tolerance in barley.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:barley drought tolerance
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Agrochemicals and biocides (incl. application)
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Grains and seeds
Objective Field:Wheat
UTAS Author:Hasanuzzaman, Md (Mr Md Hasanuzzaman)
UTAS Author:Shabala, L (Associate Professor Lana Shabala)
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
UTAS Author:Zhou, Meixue (Professor Meixue Zhou)
UTAS Author:Shabala, S (Professor Sergey Shabala)
ID Code:154331
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-11-23
Last Modified:2022-12-13

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