Variation of Agro-morphological Characters in Moroccan Barley Landraces Under Near Optimal and Drought Conditions
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In many areas of North Africa, barley is often the only possible rainfed crop. In these regions water deficit is the primary constraint affecting crop production. Twenty barley landraces collected from different localities in south Morocco and four modern varieties were characterized in two field experiments, one under well-irrigated and one under limited-irrigated conditions. Nine agro-morphological characters were evaluated: Plant height, tiller number per plant, number of grains per spike, number of spikes per plant, spike weight, spike length, plant weight (PW), number of internodes of rachis (NIR), and length of the last internode of rachis. The correlation coefficients among characters were nearly the same in the well- and limited-irrigated experiment. Under limited-irrigated conditions, plant growth was significantly decreased as measured by all characters except NIR, which was unaffected. The percentage of reduction, ranging from 80.08% to 5.82%, was recorded on PW and NIR, respectively. The injury index ranging from 4.02 to 0.06 was recorded on PW and NIR, respectively. Using discriminant analysis the genotypes were arranged in three, clearly separated groups that varied in their tolerance to drought stress.
KeywordsAgro-morphological characters Barley Hordeum vulgare Drought Landraces Morocco
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