Yalew Addisie* and Gebre-Egziabher Yemane
Two pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) cultivars (Dadda and Shella) were evaluated at post-flowering stage for drought tolerance based on morpho-physiological criteria. The experiment was laid down in a randomized complete block design which comprised of a combination of two factors (cultivars and three water stress regimes; (well watered (36%), moderately stressed (21%) and severely stressed (9%)). Data on morphophysiological variables such as total green leaf area, relative water content, potential quantum yield, root/ shoot ratio and yield per panicle revealed significant (P ≤ 0.05) differences between the cultivars at severely water stress treatment. Dadda showed the maximum relative water content (RWC) (45.70±1.13%) than Shella with the RWC of (32.00±1.06%) under SS. Under SS moisture level Dadda showed the maximum potential quantum yield of 0.77 µmolm-2 s -1 than Shella, 0.69 µmolm-2 s -1 . Dadda showed better drought stress tolerance than Shella in terns of relative water content, potential quantum yield, yield per panicle and root/ shoot ratio under sever water stress. The analysis of growth revealed the importance of total green leaf area, relative water content, potential quantum yield, yield per panicle and root/ shoot ratio as markers for drought tolerance during post-flowering stage in Pearl millet cultivars.
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