CANOPY GROWTH, IRRIGATION WATER USE EFFICIENCY AND RELATIVE WATER CONTENT OF CHICKPEA UNDER ACCLIMATION TO GRADUAL WATER DEFICIT CONDITIONS
|Nahid Niari Khamssi1*, Kazem Ghasemi Golezani2, Saeed Zehtab2, Abdollah Najaphy3
|Corresponding Author: Nahid Niari Khamssi, Tel: +98 831 8324215; Fax: +98 831 8323731, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Received: 09 January 2014 Accepted: 20 January 2014|
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Two field experiments were undertaken in 2007 and 2008 to evaluate the effect of gradual imposition of water deficit stress on percentage ground cover (PGC), irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE), relative water content (RWC), grain yield (YG) and biomass (BM) of three Kabuli and desi chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) cultivars. Both experiments were arranged as split-plot, based on randomized complete block design in three replications. The irrigation treatments [well watered (I1: 70 mm evaporation from class A pan), gradual water deficit (I2 and I3: 70…90…110…130 and 70…100…130 mm evaporation from class A pan, respectively) and water deficit conditions (I4: 130 mm evaporation from class A pan)] were assigned to main plots and cultivars were allocated to sub plots. PGC, IWUE, BM and YG were decreased as water limitation increased. These reductions were only significant under water deficit (I4), compared with control (I1) for PGC, IWUE, BM and YG. IWUE was not significantly different among I1 (well watered), I2 and I3 (gradual water deficit) treatments. Although increasing irrigation intervals from I1 to I4 caused a small non significant reduction in RWC, but it reduced IWUE about 29% in I4 rather than I1. All characters included in this study (viz., PGC, IWUE, RWC and BM) were significantly correlated with YG. Non significant differences among I1, I2 and I3 treatments for YG and IWUE, suggest that I3 can be a more appropriate irrigation treatment for chickpea to obtain optimum yield and to save the water (up to 25%).