Evaluation of drought tolerance in some Kenyan bread wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) at seedling stage


Journal of Contemporary Agricultural Practices

Published : 2019-11-02


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Author: Gerald G. Githinji, Miriam Kinyua, Oliver Kiplagat and Rael K. Birithia


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L) is the second largest contributor to food security in Kenya. However, water deficiency retards plant growth and productivity significantly. With few drought-tolerant varieties available, there is a need to develop more drought-tolerant wheat varieties. The objective of this study was to screen for drought tolerance in the mutant wheat lines at the seedling stage. Seeds of two wheat varieties were subjected to gamma radiation at an irradiation dose of 300 gy (gray). The mutants and two local varieties ‐ Chozi and Duma (controls) were sown in polythene bags in a completely randomized design and screened for various seedling traits. Data were analyzed using ANOVA and Pearson correlation. Results indicated that Mutant 1 and Mutant 2 had high emergence percentage, emergence index, energy emergence, and percent seedling recovery compared to local varieties Chozi and Duma. Emergency percentage showed a positive correlation with the following parameters; emergence index (r = 0.965); Energy of emergency (r = 0.990) and Percentage seedling recovery (r = 0.941). It was recommended that the mutant wheat be screened for other biotic and abiotic stresses that affect wheat production in Kenya.

Keywords: Wheat, induced mutations, drought tolerance, seedling


Githinji, G. G., Kinyua, M., Kiplagat, O., and Birithia, R. K. (2019). Evaluation of drought tolerance in some Kenyan bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) at seedling stage. Journal of Contemporary Agricultural Practices. Vol.1, No 1, P.1‐8 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7335868.

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  1. ISSN Print: 2788-9939
  2. ISSN Online: 2788-9947
  3. Journal DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/
  4. Digital Archiving: Internet Archive, Zenodo


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