Differences in drought tolerance between cultivars of field bean and field pea. A comparison of drought-resistant and drought-sensitive cultivars

Research paper by Stanislaw Grzesiak, Morio Iijima, Yasuhiro Kono, Akira Yamauchi

Indexed on: 01 Sep '97Published on: 01 Sep '97Published in: Acta Physiologiae Plantarum


Relatively little research has been conducted to determine different responses to drought among cultivars of the legume species. The objective of this study was to identify differences in seedlings growth, water relations and leaf conductances resulting from drought imposed on two field bean and two field pea cultivars that had been observed to differ in their drought tolerances, and special emphasis was placed on the root system development.Distinct differences between resistant and sensitive cultivars of field bean and field pea became evident in measurements of the characteristics of the lateral root. The drought treatment induced statistically significant decrease in the number of the developed laterals, their total length and dry matter. In the drought resistant cultivars (field bean Gobo and field pea Solara) this reduction was smaller in comparison with sensitive ones (field bean Victor and field pea Bareness). The effect of drought on growth of tap root in the drought resistant and drought sensitive cultivars was smaller and statistically not significant. The results showed that drought resistant cultivars when compared with drought sensitive one would demonstrate less abundance in the above-ground part and greater dimensions of the root system.The measurements of leaf water potential and stomata diffusive resistance measurements indicate that the physiological reasons for the different reactions to drought between the resistant and the sensitive field bean and field pea cultivars may be due to a more effective protection of the level of tissue hydration and due to increase stomata diffusive resistance in the resistant cultivars. During recovery period it has been also demonstrated that in the drought resistant cultivars a tendency exists for a more complete return to the level of the control plants.