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Evaluation of seven different wheat cultivars for their resistance to drought in terms of growth indicators and yield

Zeyad H. AL-Fatlawi, Ali Nadhim Farhood, Saleh Abed Alwahed Mahdi, Auday Hamid Taha Al-Tmime.

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The study used a randomized complete block design with three replicates to investigate drought tolerance genes and wheat growth and yield. The experiment included seven wheat cultivars: Buhooth 158, Rasheed, Buhooth 22, Tahade, Fatih, N70, and Cimmyt 72 in main plots and three drought treatments: Irrigation after draining 50% of available water (D1), irrigation after draining 65% of available water (D2), and irrigation after draining 75% of available water (D3) in subplots. Drought treatments resulted in an increase in the expression of genes that promote drought resistance. It is also noted that the Buhooth 158 cultivar was superior by giving the highest relative expression of LOC100382183 and LOC103630223 gene, with averages of 2.41 and 2.25 times higher than the rest of the cultivars, and this leads us to think that the Buhooth 158 cultivar has a higher drought tolerance than the rest of the cultivars. It was found that the drought treatment (D3) had a significant impact on plant height and flag leaf area, as well as on the number of tillers, spikes, and grains in a spike. The decreases in these indicators were 12.76% for plant height, 25.89% for flag leaf area; 44.00% for tillers number; 49.31% for spike number; 40.00% for grain number; and 32.21% for the weight of 1000 grains, 43.55% for grain yield, 4.91% for biological yield, and 40.44% for harvest index. Cultivars Buhooth158, Rasheed, and Buhooth 22 surpassed the rest, with the highest average yield components, grain yield, biological yield, and harvest index all indicating their superior performance.

Key words: Gene expression, PCR, Wheat, Grain yield, Biological yield, Harvest index, water stress

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