This study quantifies the responses of drought-tolerant genotypes of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) to water availability under three irrigation regimes: rainfed (T1), 30% of full supplemental irrigation (T2), and full supplemental irrigation (T3). Sixteen genotypes of chickpea were tested in a split-plot arrangement in a randomised complete block design with three replications. Drought-resistance score (DRS), days to 50% flowering, plant height, days to maturity (DTM), grain yield (GY), biological yield (BY), 100-seed weight, average number of pods per plant (PoN), and average number of seeds per plant (SN) were measured. ANOVA indicated significant differences between treatments, years, and genotypes. Two genotypes, FLIP03-145C and ILC588, showed high drought tolerance accompanied by lower DTM, and they produced the highest GY (9.3 g plant–1). Strong and significant (P < 0.001) correlations were observed between GY and BY (0.94), SN (0.93), and PoN (0.94). The GY, BY, SN, and PoN traits were significantly (P < 0.001) correlated with DRS (–0.51 to –0.58). Ten genotypes performed better under T2 than T3, indicating a limitation in response to more water availability. Three genotypes (FLIP03-145C, ILC3182, and ILC588) are recommended for the national programs of Mediterranean countries as being drought-tolerant and especially responsive to water.
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Vol. 66 • No. 10