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The effect of water stress on some traits of winter barley cultivars during early stages of plant growth

Alojzije Lalić, Smiljana Goreta Ban, Slavko Perica, Dario Novoselović, Ivan Abičić, Josip Kovačević, Gordana Šimić, Vlado Guberac (original scientific paper)


We conducted research on the effects of exposing barley plants to short water stress deficiency through their early growth stage. The measurements and parallel analyses of relative water content (RWC), the mass of the whole plant, leaf mass, root percentage, total root length and length of root fractions with plants exposed to stress (water deficit) and with plants which were not exposed to water deficit have been conducted. Ten varieties were included in this research. The overall average of relative water content (RWC) measured in winter barley varieties was 97.5% under non-stressful conditions, and 66.1% under stressful conditions. An average difference between non-stressful and stressful conditions of plant mass was 61.2 mg, leaf mass 42.5 mg, RWC 31.4%, root mass 18.5 mg and total root length 129 cm. Relative losses under effect of water stress were lower at smaller (finer) root fractions. Significant differences among the examined barley varieties cultivated under or without the water stress were found for plant mass, leaf mass, root mass, total root length and root fractions. Varieties with the lowest losses in leaf and plant mass are Titan, Arturio and Bingo. Also, the varieties Titan, Bingo and Rex had the lowest losses of root length and mass under water stress during the early growth stage.

Correspondent author:
Alojzije Lalić, Agricultural Institute Osijek, Juzno predgradje 17, HR-31000 Osijek, Croatia,