Response of Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) to Soil Moisture Levels in a Semiarid Environment

Million E. Woldeamanuel, Ahmad M. Abu-Awwad, Nasri I. Haddad


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important food legume which is grown in most geographical regions. Chickpea can experience two types of drought: intermittent drought stress caused by breaks in winter rainfall; and terminal drought stress, resulting from receding soil moisture at the late stage of the crop growth. One way of improving the low productivity of chickpea in drought environment is to develop varieties, which can withstand moisture stress and produce high yield under such environment. A two year field experiment was carried out at the University of Jordan Research Station in the Jordan Valley. Six genotypes of chickpea; four Kabuli type and two desi type were evaluated. A line source sprinkler system was used to obtain the desired pattern of water application. Measurement on yield and yield components and other agronomic traits were made. Drought Susceptibility Index (DSI) and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) were also measured for the studied characters. Genotypes behaved differently in response to water levels for their seed yield and other characters. FLIP-98-107 gave the highest seed yield at the intermediate water level (W3) and the seed yield decreased as water level increased to W4 and W5 or decreased to W2 and W1. Results further indicated that the WUE of high yielding and/or early genotypes was better than that of the low yielding and late maturing genotypes at the lowest two water level treatments (W1 and W2). The most important traits that contribute to the ability of these genotypes to tolerate moisture stress conditions are: high harvest index, earliness, high number of pods and number of seeds per plant.

الكلمات المفتاحية

Breeding for drought conditions, line source irrigation system, moisture stress

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