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Selection of Drought Tolerant and High Water Use Efficient Rice CULTIVARS THROUGH C-13 ISOTOPE DISCRIMINATION TECHNIQUE



Selection of Drought Tolerant and High Water Use Efficient Rice CULTIVARS THROUGH C-13 ISOTOPE DISCRIMINATION TECHNIQUE



Pakistan Journal of Botany 42(6): 3887-3897



Carbon isotope discrimination (Delta) has been suggested as an indirect tool for selecting plants having higher water use efficiency (WUE) and yield potential. Enhancing WUE is an important breeding objective as water scarcity is increasing with every passing day. This study was undertaken to assess the genotypic variation and relationship between leaf, straw, grain Delta, grain yield and WUE in eight aromatic rice cultivars grown in lysimeters under three water regimes, in absence of drainage and runoff. Highly significant positive correlations were found between above-ground biomass and WUEB, and grain yield and WUEG, due to the low variation in water consumed by different cultivars. Leaf, straw and grain Delta showed a consistent variation across treatments and cultivars. Under water stress conditions, both leaf and straw Delta. were positively correlated to grain yield and WUEG. In all the water treatments, WUEG was positively correlated to harvest index and negatively to plant height. All the mutants from Basmati 385 had significantly higher Delta. values as compared to the mutants from Basmati 370. It was concluded that the new cultivar, Basmati 385, represents a better genetic source for Delta improvement than the old cultivar, Basmati 370.

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