Agriculture has new challenges against the climate change: the preservation of genetic resources and the rapid creation of new varieties better adapted to abiotic stress, specially salinity. In this context, the agronomic performance of 25 durum wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum Desf.) genotypes (nineteen landraces and six improved varieties), cultivated in two semi-arid regions in the center area of Tunisia, were assessed. These sites (Echbika, 2.2 g l-1; Barrouta, 4.2 g l-1) differ by their degree of salinity of the water irrigation. The results showed that most of the agronomic traits (e.g. spike per meter square, thousand kernels weight and grain yield) were reduced by salinity. Durum wheat landraces, Mahmoudi and Hmira, and improved varieties, Maali and Om Rabia showed the widest adaptability to different quality of irrigation water. Genotypes including Jneh Kotifa and Arbi were estimated as stable genotypes under adverse conditions. Thereafter, salt-tolerant (Hmira and Jneh Khotifa) and the most cultivated high-yielding (Karim, Razzak and Khiar) genotypes were tested for their gynogenetic ability to obtain haploids and doubled haploid lines. Genotypes with good induction capacity had not necessarily a good capacity of regeneration of haploid plantlets. In our conditions, Hmira and Khiar exhibited the best gynogenetic ability (3.1% and 2.9% of haploid plantlets, respectively).
Keywords: DH plant, doubled haploid plant; Durum wheat; GY, grain yield; Genetic variation; In vitro gynogenesis; LA, leaf area; NKS, number of kernels per spike; NS, number of spike per meter square; PLH, plant height; Salinity; TKW, thousand kernels weight.