International network for natural sciences – research journal
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Marker assisted screening of wheat (TRITICUM AESTIVUM L.) Cultivars for drought tolerance and yield improvement

By: Ikram Muhammad, Inamullah, Habib Ahmad, Badshah Alam, Imtiaz Ahmed Khan, Israr Ahmad, Ziaullah, Ayaz Ahmad, Najeebullah Khan, Sahib Gul Afridi

Key Words: Wheat, Draught, Improvement, Molecular analysis, SSR.

Int. J. Biosci. 8(3), 44-52, March 2016.



Wheat being cultivated in diverse types of environmental conditions is facing different physiological stresses like drought that result in low yield, food scarcity and economic loss. The problem can be minimized by careful selection and identification of drought resistant varieties and their further breeding. The present study was conducted having fifty two wheat varieties based on ten parameters of morphology along with molecular analysis using nine SSR markers to analyze their potential against drought. Variation in qualitative and quantitative traits including number of Peduncle length, Spike length, Plant height, Days to 50% heading, Biological yield, Flag leaf area, Yield per plant, 1000 grains weight, Number of spikelet’s per spike, and HI were recorded. Morphological data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation and cluster analysis. ANOVA showed that all the parameters were significant. There was also significant correlation among the parameters. The highest values of mentioned traits were observed in genotype 010810(42cm), 010797(13cm), 010791(118cm), 010808(158), Sahar(19.7gm), ZAM(70.3), Sahar(12.7gm), Sahar(59gm), 010810(67) and 010817 (84.94), respectively. Dendrogram clustered all the genotypes into six groups. Nine molecular markers used for screening of drought tolerant genotypes, amplified maximum number of drought tolerant genes in genotypes 010817, 010771, 010803, 010726, 010810, Sahar, 010772, 010732, PS-2004, 010727, 010718, 010725, Siran-2010, 010786 and ARE-10. Sahar, 010810, 011786 and 010817 genotypes showed best performance both in morphological and molecular screening and are therefore, recommended for utilization in future wheat breeding programs for rain fed areas of Pakistan.


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