Implications of contrast in root traits on seed yield of chickpea under drought situations uri icon


  • Twelve contrasting root-trait genotypes of chickpea that were identified from the entire mini-core collection plus several popular genotypes (total n=223), were studied for their consistency in root characteristics and the contribution of these characteristics to seed yield under drought situation in India. The root growth was assessed using tall PVC cylinders along with the seed yield and shoot biomass under non-irrigated field conditions. Most of the genotypes showed consistent root growth across the seasons except for a minor genotype by season interaction involving only two genotypes. In the field experiment, significant variation among genotypes was found for seed yield under terminal drought stress. The large and small root genotypes were further grouped into early and late group of genotypes to assess the impact of root system variation on seed yield. Among the six early maturing genotypes, a single large root genotype (ICC 4958) showed significantly higher seed yield than the rest of the five genotypes which had small and shallow root systems. Similarly, four prolific and deep rooting genotypes of the late maturity group produced significantly higher yields than the two small and shallow rooting genotypes. The root-size conferred yield advantage was through improved harvest index alone in early maturity genotypes, whereas it was through both harvest index and shoot biomass in the late maturity genotypes. The results demonstrate that the root length density and rooting depth contribute to the seed yield of chickpea under the terminal drought, with the contribution becoming more in the case of late maturing genotypes

publication date

  • 2006