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Drought-Tolerant Barley: II. Root Tip characteristics in Emerging Roots
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Drought-Tolerant Barley: I. Field Observations of Growth and Development

1
School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2
Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(5), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9050221
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root-Soil Interactions)
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Abstract

An ever-growing challenge to agricultural production worldwide is the reduced availability of water and increased incidence of drought. The development of low-irrigation barley cultivars marks a significant achievement in breeding efforts for drought tolerance, but specific traits conferring adaptation to water stress remain unclear. Here, we report results from two years of replicated field trials comparing yield, phenology, water usage, and rooting characteristics of low-irrigation varieties “Solar” and “Solum” to high-input, semi-dwarf varieties “Kopious” and “Cochise”. The objective was to identify differential performance of varieties under high- and low-water conditions through comparison of growth and developmental traits. Rooting characteristics were analyzed by digging in-field root profile walls to a depth of 1.8 m. Varieties were compared under high (877 mm) and low (223 mm) water regimes including irrigation and precipitation. Observed traits associated with improved performance of the low-irrigation varieties under drought conditions included early vigor, early flowering, greater root growth at 40–80 cm depth, and more effective water use exhibited by greater water extraction post-anthesis. The deeper rooting pattern of the low-irrigation varieties may be related to their ability to use more water post-anthesis under water stress, and thus, to fill grain, compared to high input varieties. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought tolerance; low irrigation; barley; root traits; field trial; water use; root profile drought tolerance; low irrigation; barley; root traits; field trial; water use; root profile
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Carter, A.Y.; Hawes, M.C.; Ottman, M.J. Drought-Tolerant Barley: I. Field Observations of Growth and Development. Agronomy 2019, 9, 221.

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