The Effects of Early Season Drought on Stomatal Conduc-tance, Leaf-air Temperature Difference and Proline Accumulation in Sugar Beet Genotypes

R Mohammadian, F Khoyi, H Rahimian, M Moghaddam, K Ghassemi-Golezani, S Sadeghian
2001 J. Agric. Sci. Technol   unpublished
Limited water for irrigation and the coincidence of early growth of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) with the late growth of winter cereals in the Northeast (NE) of Iran, force farmers , to allocate their limited irrigation water to the cereal crops and thus their sugar beet crop is subjected to an early water stress. Finding cultivars which are able to withstand early water stress without a significant yield reduction is critical to the farmers' economy. This study was conducted over a two-year
more » ... d over a two-year period (1998 and 1999) to evaluate the response of nine sugar beet genotypes to drought stress and to determine the crop traits associated with drought resistance. The results showed that stomatal conductance, leaf-air temperature difference and proline accumulation were associated with levels of water stress in sugar beet genotypes. Among these indices, leaf-air temperature difference was a more precise parameter to measure. A negative correlation between ∆ T (leaf-air temperature) and stomatal conductance was found. The correlation coefficients for 1998 and 1999 were-0.87 and-0.58, respectively. There was a positive correlation between ∆ T and proline accumulation in sugar beet genotypes. The correlation coefficients for the 1998 and 1999 experiments were 0.61 and 0.49, respectively. The shoot: root ratio (S:R) measured at the end of the stress period showed that genotypes with a lower S:R often had a greater stomatal conductance. In general, genotypes with a lower S:R at the end of the stress period usually had a greater root dry weight. The correlation coefficients of S:R with root dry weight at the end of the stress period were-0.96 and-0.65 for 1998 and 1999, respectively.