Abiotic stresses including drought as well as salinity are considered as the main environmental hurdles which hinders the plant water uptake from the soil. Recently, water shortage has become an alarming situation all around the globe, therefore, scientists are working on the development as well as screening of drought tolerant plant cultivars.
It is reported that decline in soil water availability causes loss of turgidity and hang-up of cell elongation in leaves as well. Moreover, plants start to avoid extreme transpiration by closing their stomata1 which ultimately lessens the gaseous exchange between leaves as well as the atmosphere, leading towards low intercellular CO2 concentration1and ensuing negative feedback in photochemical efficiency2. This phenomenon also affects photosynthetic rate as well.
Pea “Pisum sativum” is an important vegetable that is being extensively cultivated in Ethiopia. It is considered as the second most vital pulse crop in this country after “faba bean” with respect to both area coverage as well as production. Pea is most important food and feed crop and is a rich source of protein and vitamins.
In addition, pulses also provide natural soil maintenance by means of nitrogen-fixing, which enhances the yields of cereals by crop rotation and can also result in savings for smallholder farmers from less fertilizer application3.
It is reported that in the drought-prone parts of Ethiopia4, pea plants have to face from water stress. Therefore, scientists carried out a new study in order to determine the water stress effects on three cultivars of P. sativumincluding Brukitu, Tegegnech as well as Adi for their growth, leaf traits, water status as well as physiological activities by considering their differences with respect to tolerance capacity against stress5.
For this purpose, research team imposed the water-stress conditions by subjecting plants to a slow decrease of soil water availability like watering at six-day intervals, nine-day intervals as well as twelve-day intervals5.
From this experiment, it was concluded that water stress significantly lessens the vegetative growth, water status, biomass accumulation, gaseous exchange, photosynthetic pigments as well as photosynthetic effectiveness in the P. sativum cultivars.
The three cultivars tested were found to vary concerning their sensitivity to water-stress level. However, cultivar “Tegegnech” was more tolerant to water stress-induced damage as compared to Brukitu and Adi cultivars. Consequently, Tegegnech can be employed further to recognize and use the genes controlling these traits in breeding programs.
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