CORRELATION ANALYSIS BETWEEN MORPHOLOGICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL AND YIELD TRAITS UNDER SALINITY STRESS CONDITION IN WHEAT (TRITICUM AESTIVUM L.) GENOTYPES
Keywords:correlation, salinity, wheat, yield, yield components
Salinity is one of the key factors reducing the plant growth and productivity of major crops including wheat. However, identifying the multiple genetic parameters associated with salt tolerance during different growth stages is critical for the evaluation and enhancement of wheat genotypes. In this context, a field experiment in non-saline and saline soil was carried out for correlation analysis of 17 morphological, physiological and yield traits in 22 genotypes of wheat. The experiment was carried out at experimental field of NIA, Tandojam during 2018-2019 in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications and two treatments (non-saline soil and salinity level of 12 dS m-1). The obtained mean squares showed significant differences among the tested genotypes for all the studied characters, reflecting that there are abundant genetic variations present in these wheat genetic resources for further utilization in wheat improvement programs. The correlation analysis demonstrated that a variety of characters, including spike length (non-saline r = 0.59**; salinity r = 0.37*), spikelets spike-1 (non-saline r = 0.49**; salinity r = 0.46**), grains spike-1 (non-saline r = 0.49**; salinity r = 0.43**), biological yield plot-1 (non-saline r = 0.56**; salinity r = 0.70**), harvest index (non-saline r = 0.24*; salinity r = 0.26*), relative water content (non-saline r = 0.53**; salinity r = 0.50**), seed index (non-saline r = 0.29*; salinity r = 0.52**) and K+ (non-saline r = 0.28*; salinity r = 0.32**) showed positive and significant associations with grain yield plot-1 in non-saline and salinity stress conditions. The results suggest that these above-mentioned characters may be set as selection criteria in breeding study to improve wheat genotypes for high yielding under saline filed conditions.