Evaluation of six elite irrigated spring bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties tolerant to heat stress during late sowing

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To assess the heat stress tolerance of recently released wheat varieties, six of these varieties (Shatabdi, BARI Gom 26, BARI Gom 27, BARI Gom 28, BARI Gom 29 and BARI Gom 30) were evaluated at two sowing conditions (optimum sowing on November 15 and extremely late sowing under heat stress on January 15). All treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with a split–plot arrangement and repeated three times. Two sowing dates were arranged in the main plots and six wheat varieties were assigned to sub–plots. The varieties that are suitable to grow under late sowing were recognized based on phenological data such as date of booting, heading, anthesis and physiological maturity, growth data such as plant population, number of tillers m–2, plant height, leaf area index, total biomass at the booting stage and plant height at harvest. Besides phenological and growth data, yield and yield attributes such as spikes m–2, spike length (cm), spikelets spike–1, grains spike–1, 1000–grain weight (g), grain yield (GY, kg ha–1), straw yield (kg ha–1), biological yield (kg ha–1) and harvest index were also recorded. Stress–related parameters such as yield stability index, stress tolerance index, stress intensity and heat susceptibility index were also estimated for final confirmation of heat tolerance of varieties. In optimum sowing conditions, phenology, growth, yield and yield components were significantly higher than in late sowing under heat stress. Among these wheat varieties, significantly (p < 0.01) highest GY was obtained from Shatabdi (5,096 kg ha–1) and lowest from BARI Gom 27 (3,955.33 kg ha–1) when sown under optimum conditions. When sown at late, BARI Gom 30 was found to be heat tolerant and produced maximum GY (1,834.33 kg ha–1), whereas BARI Gom 27 was highly sensitive to heat and produced the lowest GY (1,353 kg ha–1). Under both sowing conditions (optimum and late sowing), significantly maximum GY and biological yield were recorded in variety Shatabdi (3,419 kg ha–1), and the lowest was observed in BARI Gom 27 (2,654 kg ha–1). By evaluating heat tolerance indices, BARI Gom 30, followed by BARI Gom 29, BARI Gom 26 and Shatabdi were found to be tolerant to heat stress, whereas BARI Gom 27 and BARI Gom 28 were susceptible to late–sowing heat stress condition. Therefore, except for BARI Gom 27 and BARI Gom 28, the remaining four varieties (Shatabdi, BARI Gom 26, BARI Gom 29 and BARI Gom 30) are recommended for sown late heat stress condition and could also be used in a future breeding program to develop heat–tolerant varieties


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