Physiological Responses under Drought Stress of Improved Drought-Tolerant Rice Lines and their Parents



Many of the economically important rice cultivars including ‘Khao Dawk Mali 105’ (KDML105) or jasmine rice, one of the world’s famous rice exported from Thailand suffers from drought due to erratic rainfalls and limited irrigation. To improve drought tolerance and reserve genetic background of KDML105, chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSL) containing drought tolerant quantitative trait loci (DT-QTL) has been previously developed by backcrossing between KDML105 and drought tolerant donor, IR58586-F2-CA-143 (DH212). To understand the physiological responses related to drought tolerance in CSSL lines compared to parents, two CSSLs namely CSSL1-16 and CSSL1-18, respectively were used in this study. Twenty-one-d-old hydroponically grown plants were subjected to 20% PEG for 0, 7, 14 d and then recovered from stress for 3 d. The results indicated that CSSL lines especially, CSSL1-16 showed better performance under drought stress compared to their recurrent parent. Drought tolerance superior CSSL1-16 line was indicated by high water status (high relative water content and leaf water potential), good osmotic adjustment, high proline and greater membrane stability. Moreover, this line was able to resume growth after stress recovery whereas other lines/cultivar could not recover. Similarly, drought tolerant donor showed high water status suggesting that well-maintained plant water status was associated with drought tolerant trait. It could be concluded that the highest drought tolerant line was CSSL1-16 followed by DH212, CSSL1-18 and KDML105. It would be interesting to go further into introgressed section in CSSL1-16 to identify potential candidate genes in DT-QTL for breeding drought tolerant rice in the future.


drought stress; drought tolerance QTL; leaf water potential; osmotic adjustment; rice

Full Text:



Amini H, Arzani A, Karami M (2014). Effect of water deficiency on seed quality and physiological traits of different safflower genotypes. Turkish Journal of Biology 38:271-282.

Akbarian A, Arzani A, Salehi M, Salehi M (2011). Evaluation of triticale genotypes for terminal drought tolerance using physiological traits. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 81:1110-1115.

Barrs HD,Weatherly PE (1962). A re-examination of the relative turgidity technique for estimating water deficits in leaves. Australian Journal of Biological Sciences 15:413-428.

Bates LS, Waldren RP, Teare ID (1973). Rapid determination of free proline for water stress studies. Plant and Soil 39:205-207.

Bouman BAM, Peng S, Castaòeda AR, Visperas RM (2005). Yield and water use of irrigated tropical aerobic rice systems. Agricultural Water Management 74:87-105.

Bricker AA (1989). MSTAT-C user’s guide. Michigan State University, Michigan.

Farooq M, Bramley H, Palta JA, Siddique KHM (2011). Heat stress in wheat during reproductive and grain filling phases. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 30:491-507.

Farooq M, Hussain M, Wahid A, Siddique KHM (2012). Chapter 1 Drought Stress in Plants: An Overview. In: Aroca R (Ed). Plant Responses to Drought Stress. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg pp 1-33.

Flower DJ, Ludlow MM (1986). Contribution of osmotic adjustment to the dehydration tolerance of water-stressed pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L. millsp.)) leaves. Plant, Cell & Environment 9:33-40.

Ghoulam C, Foursy A, Fares K (2002). Effects of salt stress on growth, inorganic ions and proline accumulation in relation to osmotic adjustment in five sugarbeet cultivars. Environmental and Experimental Botany 47:39-50.

Jongdee B, Fukai S, Cooper M (2002). Leaf water potential and osmotic adjustment as physiological traits to improve drought tolerance in rice. Field Crops Research 76:153-163.

Kanjoo V, Punyawaew K, Siangliw JL, Jearakongman S, Vanavichit A,Toojinda T (2012). Evaluation of agronomic traits in chromosome segment substitution lines of KDML105 containing drought tolerance QTL under drought stress. Rice Science 19:117-124.

Khan F, Upreti P, Singh R, Shukla PK, Shirke PA (2017). Physiological performance of two contrasting rice varieties under water stress. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 23:85-97.

Kumar S, Dwivedi SK, Singh SS, Jha SK, Lekshmy S, Elanchezhian R, ... Bhatt BP (2014). Identification of drought tolerant rice genotype by analysing drought tolerance indices and morpho-physiological traits. SABRAO Journal of Breeding and Genetics 46:217-230.

Lonbani M, Arzani A (2011). Morpho-physiological traits associated with terminal drought stress tolerance in triticale and wheat. Agronomy Research 9:315-329.

Liang X, Zhang L, Natarajan SK, Becker DF (2013). Proline mechanisms of stress survival. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 19:998-1011.

Mejri M, Siddique KHM, Saif T, Abdelly C, Hessini K (2016). Comparative effect of drought duration on growth, photosynthesis, water relations, and solute accumulation in wild and cultivated barley species. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 179:327-335.

Saha P, Sade N, Arzani A, Rubio Wilhelmi MDM, Coe KM, Li B, Blumwald E (2016). Effects of abiotic stress on physiological plasticity and water use of Setaria viridis (L.). Plant Science 251:128-138.

Silva EN, Ferreira-Silva SL, Viégas RA, Silveira JAG (2010). The role of organic and inorganic solutes in the osmotic adjustment of drought-stressed Jatropha curcas plants. Environmental and Experimental Botany 69:279-285.

Silvestre WVD, Silva PA, Palheta LF, Neto CFO, Souza RORM, Festucci-Buselli RA, Pinheiro HA (2017). Differential tolerance to water deficit in two açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) plant materials. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 39:4.

Turner NC (1981). Techniques and experimental approaches for the measurement of plant water status. Plant and Soil 58:339-366.

Turner NC, O’Toole JC, Cruz RT, Yambao EB, Ahmad S, Namuco OS, Dingkuhn M (1986). Response of seven diverse rice cultivars to water deficit. II. Osmotic adjustment, leaf elasticity, leaf extension, leaf death, stomata conductance and photosynthesis. Field Crops Research 13:273-286.

Wilson JR, Fischer MJ, Schulze ED, Dolby GR, Ludlow MM (1979). Comparison between pressure-volume and dew point hygrometry techniques for determining the water relations characteristics of grass and legume leaves. Oecologia 41:77-88.

Xu Z, Zhou G, Shimizu H (2010). Plant responses to drought and rewatering. Plant Signaling & Behavior 5:649-654.

Yoshida S, Forno DA, Cock JH, Gomez KA (1976). Laboratory manual for physiological studies of rice. International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos.

Zivcak M, Brestic M, SYTAR O (2016). Osmotic adjustment and plant adaptation to drought stress. In: Hossainh MA, Wani SH, Bhattacharjee S, Burritt DJ, Tran LSP (Eds). Drought Stress Tolerance in Plants Vol 1. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland pp 105-143.

Zu X, Lu Y, Wang Q, Chu P, Miao W, Wang H, La H (2017). A new method for evaluating the drought tolerance of upland rice cultivars. The Crop Journal 5:488-498.


June 1, 2017: Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca in CiteScore rank (Scopus – Elsevier) 28/66 in Horticulture