Drought stress and its management in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): a review

B. Sharma1*, L. Yadav2, A. Shrestha3, S. Shrestha3, M. Subedi4, S. Subedi4, J. Shrestha4

1Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University, Kritipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
2Paklihawa Campus, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University,
Bhairahawa, Rupandehi, Nepal
3Himalayan College of Agricultural Science and Technology, Purbanchal University, Kathmandu, Nepal
4Nepal Agricultural Research Council, National Plant Breeding and Genetics Research Centre, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal

(Manuscript received 2 December 2021; accepted for publication 7 February 2022)

Abstract. Drought is one of the major constraints to wheat production, and it is becoming a more serious problem in many wheat-growing regions of the world. It causes a severe reduction in wheat crop growth and productivity. Water stress at critical growth stages namely tillering, grain filling and flowering stages causes serious yield loss. Morphological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular changes are seen as a result of drought stress in wheat. When plants are exposed to drought stress, they use three basic survival strategies, stress avoidance, escape, and tolerance. Growing drought tolerant varieties and applying agronomic management to create innovative water-use approaches is important for drought management. This review summarizes the effects of drought stress on wheat growth and productivity. This review could be useful for wheat researchers and growers for making the right decision on drought management in wheat.