Plants experience moisture stress when subjected to temperatures that are higher than their ideal range for growth and development. It is a major environmental element that can have a detrimental influence on plant health and agricultural yield. A field experiment was conducted in the rabi season of 2021-22 under irrigated and moisture stress conditions on medium black soil to study the effect on growth and yield variation in chickpea genotypes and to assess the physiological and biochemical variation in chickpea under soil moisture stress and non-stress conditions.
According to the findings, measures such as relative leaf water content, SPAD index, chlorophyll stability index, membrane injury index, proline concentration, and glycine betaine are the most beneficial when choosing genotypes for drought resistance. Under both circumstances, genotypes (Phule G-1415-15-15), (Phule G-1415-13-20), and (Phule G-1424-7-7) had the maximum grain production per plant and harvest index values.
The genotypes Phule G-1415-15-15, Phule G-1415-13-20, and Phule G-1424-7-7 exhibited higher values of number of secondary branches, relative leaf water content, leaf area, SPAD index, chlorophyll stability index, grain yield, harvest index, drought tolerance efficiency, and lower values of membrane injury index and drought susceptible index, indicating drought tolerance behavior, in the current study. These genotypes can be exploited as a source of drought resistance in future breeding programs to generate drought-tolerant genotypes in chickpea.