Pre-Field Screening of Potential Barley and Durum Wheat Mutants for Drought Tolerance

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Mokhtar Baraket
Wafa Ounissi
Marwa Hassine
Latifa Chaouachi
Salma Jallouli
Fatma Sarsu
Amina Aly
Olfa Ayed Slama
Zied Hammami
Zoubeir Chamekh
Ines Zouari
Sawsen Ayadi
Hajer Slim Amara
Chahine Karmous
Youssef Trifa


Drought is the most important stress reducing drastically crop production in Tunisia. Therefore, it is imperative to develop drought tolerant barley and durum wheat variety. This study aims to screen for water stress tolerance among generated variability of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum). Two commercial genotypes of barley "Rihane" and durum wheat "Maali" were exposed to three levels of γ-irradiation; 100 Gy, 150 Gy and 250 Gy. Selection was set up on M2 using early vigor (Z14) and stay green phenotype (Z59) parameters which allowed to identify 70 and 167 potential mutants of barley and durum wheat, respectively. All selected mutants were assessed for morphological, physiological and yield variability compared to control. Selected barley mutants showed higher yield components than the average non-irradiated controls. Durum wheat M2 selected mutants showed higher agro-morphological parameters under all gamma irradiations. Higher number and fertile tillers were observed under low irradiation levels of 100 and 150 Gy, respectively. Photosynthesis activity evaluated by Fv/Fm and Fv/F0 was improved under 100 Gy. Besides, yield components were also improved mostly under 250 Gy. Furthermore, results showed that δ15N (‰) and δ13C (‰) measured on M3 kernels were not able to discriminate tolerant mutant. All measured parameters will be used in further generations to ass the variability and the efficiency of mutation breeding process on barley and durum wheat.

Barley, durum wheat, drought stress, gamma irradiation

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Baraket, M., Ounissi, W., Hassine, M., Chaouachi, L., Jallouli, S., Sarsu, F., Aly, A., Slama, O. A., Hammami, Z., Chamekh, Z., Zouari, I., Ayadi, S., Amara, H. S., Karmous, C., & Trifa, Y. (2022). Pre-Field Screening of Potential Barley and Durum Wheat Mutants for Drought Tolerance. Asian Journal of Research in Biosciences, 4(1), 1-11. Retrieved from
Original Research Article


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