Authors: ABDELMAJID KROUMA
Abstract: Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important food crop grown under rainfed conditions in Mediterranean regions in which drought is a major limiting factor for production. In these areas little attention is given to legumes, and efforts to identify drought-tolerant genotypes are primarily focused on major cereal crops. In the current study a greenhouse experiment was conducted to assess the effects of drought stress on plant growth, photosynthesis, and water relations in 3 Tunisian chickpea genotypes (Cicer arietinum L.). Drought was applied, and soil humidity was maintained at 30% of field capacity (stressed plants) or 100% of field capacity (control plants) for 3 weeks. A close relationship between plant growth, and photosynthesis and leaf water status was observed. In comparison to Chetoui and Kesseb, Amdoun exhibited the greatest plant growth and photosynthetic activity, the lowest drought intensity index, and important osmotic adjustment under drought stress. Water use efficiency clearly differentiated the studied genotypes.
Keywords: Drought, Cicer arietinum, photosynthesis, water potential, osmotic adjustment, water use efficiency
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