Identification and characterization of drought tolerant local populations of Cucurbitaceae   

Elisaveta Stoyanova Vasileva and Radoslav Rangelov Chipilski
Agricultural Academy, Institute of Plant Genetic Resources „K. Malkov“, 4122, Sadovo, Bulgaria

Abstract

Vasileva, E. S. & Chipilski, R. R. (2022). Identification and characterization of drought tolerant local populations of Cucurbitaceae. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 28 (3), 417–424

For a three-year period (2019-2021), local populations of the Cucurbitaceae family were studied in a field experiment to establish drought resistance. The experiment is two-factor, set by non-standard method, with direct sowing, in two replications, with a systematic distribution of variants, with a natural deficit of soil moisture, intensifying with the progress of vegetation and control under irrigated conditions. Evaluation information has been collected according to the current ECPGR and UPOV descriptors. Physiological analyzes of leaf morphometry parameters, water exchange and relative leaf chlorophyll content were performed twice during the fruit growth phase. Two local populations of Cucurbita pepo var. saccharata with good yield potential in arid conditions and stable response to environmental conditions in terms of growth intensity and water exchange have been identified: BGR6545 and BGR6547. The populations BGR6545, BGR6547, BGR3329, B9E0020 and B9E0043 have the highest values of morphometric indicators for drought tolerance. The highest yields in ambient conditions without irrigation were reported for accessions BGR6545, BGR6547, B9E0057 and B9E0092.

Keywords: Cucurbitaceae; drought tolerance; chlorophyll

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