The Near East climate ranges from arid to a Mediterranean, under which local wheat landraces have been grown for over millennia, assumingly accumulating a unique repertoire of genetic adaptations. In the current study, we subjected a subset of the Israeli Palestinian Landraces (IPLR) collection (n = 19: durum and bread wheat landraces, modern wheat cultivars, and landraces mixtures) to full-field evaluation. The multifield experiment included a semiarid site (2018–2019, 2019– 2020) under low (L) and high (H) supplementary irrigation, and a Mediterranean site (2019–2020). Water availability had a major impact on crop performance. This was reflected in a strong discrimination between environments for biomass productivity and yield components. Compared to landraces, modern cultivars exhibited significantly higher grain yield (GY) across environments (+102%) reflecting the effect of the Green Revolution. However, under the Gilat19 (L) environment, this productivity gap was significantly reduced (only +39%). Five excelling landraces and the durum mix exhibited good agronomic potential across all trails. This was expressed in relatively high GY (2.3–2.85 t ha−1), early phenology (86–96 days to heading) and lodging resistance. Given the growing interest of stakeholders and consumers, these might be considered future candidates for the local artisanal wheat grain market. Yet, this step should be taken only after establishing an adjustable field management protocol.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by a 2016 IGB grant and the Ministry of Agriculture grant 20-01-0097. S.F.’s doctoral studies were funded by Gvati, Danziger, Sam-Hamburg, and Molcho fellowships.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Bread wheat
- Durum wheat
- Semi-arid climate
- Wheat landraces
- Yield stability