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Agronomy 2017, 7(3), 51; doi:10.3390/agronomy7030051

Evaluation of Agronomic Traits and Drought Tolerance of Winter Wheat Accessions from the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Collection

1
Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, 1691 S 2700 W, Aberdeen, ID 83210, USA
2
State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
3
Institute of Water Saving Agriculture in Arid Regions of China, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
4
USDA-ARS, Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit, 1691 S 2700 W, Aberdeen, ID 83210, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Daniel Mullan
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
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Abstract

Wheat accessions from the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) are a potential genetic resource for variety improvement. This study assessed the agronomic performance and drought tolerance in 198 winter wheat accessions under irrigated and terminal drought environments in the 2012–2013 season, and repeated the test under terminal drought only during the 2013–2014 season. The 198 accessions were classified into three maturity groups, early, intermediate, and late based on heading data. In all three environments, the early accessions had the best agronomic performance, produced higher grain yield, thousand-kernel weight and grain volume weight, and had earlier heading date and shorter plant height. The intermediate accessions had similar grain yield and thousand-kernel weight as the early accessions in the irrigated environment, but had lower thousand-kernel weight in the terminal drought environments. Terminal drought had significant effects on grain yield, plant height, thousand-kernel weight, and grain volume weight. The positive correlation between GY and HD suggests that the ‘late early’ types in the early maturity were the most successful. Out of 198 accessions evaluated, twenty-three had high yield stability and drought tolerance according to the drought susceptibility index and membership function value of drought tolerance. The eight of twenty-three accessions identified (four early and four intermediate) had high grain yield in three environments. Some of these accessions have been further used in bi-parental mapping studies and by breeders for grain yield and drought tolerance improvement. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter wheat accessions; maturity; agronomic traits; drought tolerance; breeding winter wheat accessions; maturity; agronomic traits; drought tolerance; breeding
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Bowman, B.C.; Hu, Y.-G.; Liang, X.; Zhao, W.; Wheeler, J.; Klassen, N.; Bockelman, H.; Bonman, J.M.; Chen, J. Evaluation of Agronomic Traits and Drought Tolerance of Winter Wheat Accessions from the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Collection. Agronomy 2017, 7, 51.

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