Earliness in wheat: A key to adaptation under terminal and continual high temperature stress in South Asia

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Field Crops Research 151 : 19-26, 2013

S. Mondal, R.P. Singh, J. Crossa, J. Huerta-Espino,  I. Sharmac, R. Chatrath, G.P. Singh, V.S. Sohu, G.S. Mavi, V.S.P. Sukaru, I.K. Kalappanavarg, V.K. Mishra, M. Hussain, N.R. Gautam, J. Uddin, N.C.D. Barma, A. Hakim and  A.K. Joshi

High temperatures are a primary concern for wheat production in South Asia. A trial was conducted to evaluate the grain yield performance of high yielding, early maturing heat tolerant CIMMYT wheat lines, developed recently in Mexico for adaptation to high temperature stresses in South Asia. The trial, comprised of 28 entries and two checks, was grown in 13 locations across South Asia and two environments in Mexico. Each location was classified by mega environment (ME); ME1 being the temperate irrigated locations with terminal high temperature stress, and ME5 as warm, tropical, irrigated locations. Grain yield (GY), thousand kernel weight (TKW), days to heading (DH) and plant height (PH) were recorded at each location. Canopy temperature (CT) was also measured at some locations. Significant differences were observed between ME for DH, PH, GY, and TKW. The cooler ME1 locations had a mean DH of 83 days, compared to 68 days mean DH in ME5. The ME1 locations had higher mean GY of 5.26 t/ha and TKW of 41.8 g compared to 3.63 t/ha and 37.4 g, respectively, for ME5. Early heading entries (<79 days, mean DH) performed better across all locations, with GY of 2–11% above the local checks and 40–44 g TKW. Across all locations the top five highest yielding entries had 5–11% higher GY than the local checks. The early maturing CIMMYT check ‘Baj’ also performed well across all locations. In the Mexico location, CT was associated with GY, thereby suggesting that cooler canopies may contribute to higher GY under normal as well as high temperature stress conditions. Our results suggest that the early maturing, high yielding, and heat tolerant wheat lines developed in Mexico can adapt to the diverse heat stressed areas of South Asia.

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