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Abstract

A technique described as Root Pulling Resistance (RPR) was used to evaluate genotypic differences in root growth and development of 50 rice germplasm accessions and cultivars. Several root characteristics in rice are associated with drought tolerance and avoidance capability of plants. The RPR measurements showed a significant positive correlation with maximum root length (r=0.69), root thickness (r=0.75), branching number (r=0.75), and root dry weight (r= 0.82). Rice genotypes that had a high RPR value were identified as having longer, thicker, and denser root systems. The data indicated that high RPR measurements are strongly correlated with greater root penetration. Munji Sufaid Pak, IR52 (IR5853-1 18-5) and Saunfia or Mabla Pak 329 had a significantly greater root length, root thickness, root number, root branching and dry weight as compared to IR 36. Also, there was no correlation between plant height and RPR. Furthermore, the data demonstrated that the RPR technique is ideal for selecting superior root systems and potential drought tolerant rice germplasm and cultivars.

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