Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Ph.D. Student of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Iran.

2 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural resources, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.

3 Seed and Plant Improvement Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran.


All around the globe, drought is considered one of the critical threats putting agricultural industries at stake. With such impediments existing, challenges of feeding the population arise. This study evaluated and selected appropriate wheat cultivars with desirable traits. The objective was achievable by accurately assessing quality traits and resistance characteristics under simulated drought-stress conditions. From 2018 till 2020, six cultivars were evaluated using a split-plot design with three repetitions. The study consists of a control plot (regular irrigation throughout the growing season; zero drought stress), moderate drought stress (irrigation halted before booting stage), and complete drought stress. According to the results, the intensity of drought stress has statistically significant impacts on quality traits; in other words, the content of soluble sugars, protein, and proline were affected. Furthermore, alternations in enzyme functions, such as peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase, were observed. The leaf protein content declined under moderate and full drought treatments (-55% and 71%, respectively). However, a significant increase was detected in total soluble sugar (4 and 10%, respectively) and proline content (26 and 45%, respectively), along with intensified enzymatic functions for peroxidase (10 and 22%, respectively) and polyphenol oxidase (4 and 10%, respectively). According to the results, certain biochemical traits should be taken into account when selecting drought-tolerant wheat varieties. The most durable cultivar was N-93-17, with the highest yield potentials, followed by Tirgan in terms of water deficiency. Rank sum analysis identified the most drought-tolerant cultivars as ‘N-93-17’ and ‘Aftab’. Results of this investigation would be of great importance in selecting desirable parents for the breeding program to develop wheat cultivars resistant to drought stress conditions

Graphical Abstract

The Effect of Drought Stress on Physiological Traits in Lines and Cultivars of Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)


Main Subjects

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