Development of a screening method for drought tolerance in cotton seedlings
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The key to an efficient screening method is the ability to screen large amounts of plant material in the shortest time possible. Due to the complexity of drought tolerance, a quick and effective screen for this trait has yet to be established. The research reported herein was designed to evaluate a screening method for drought tolerance in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) seedlings. Twenty-one converted race stocks (CRS) and two cultivars were evaluated for seedling drought tolerance (SDT) on an individual plant basis. Genotypes were evaluated October-November 2004 and February-March 2005 under greenhouse conditions. Seedlings were subjected to three sequential cycles of drought at 15 d after planting (DAP). Drought cycles consisted of withholding water until the moisture content of indicator 'Deltapine 491' (DP 491) plants had an average volumetric water content of 0.07. Plants then were watered to saturation and allowed to drain to field capacity and percent survival recorded after 48 h. Genotypes differed in their percent survival following three consecutive drought cycles. Drought cycles 2 and 3 did not contribute to the separation of genotypes. DP 491 was the most tolerant genotype evaluated. The drought tolerance of the CRS was similar to that of 'Acala 1517-99'. CRS M-9044-0165 was the most stable genotype, according to an analysis of the difference in percentage of survival for each genotype across the two experiments. Crop Science Society of America.