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Water stress is a major threat against wheat growth. The effects of induced stress can be reduced after by fortified fertilizer treated by Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB). With the objective to combat the water stress, two different experiments under net house and field condition were conducted. Three different states of fertilizer [F0: Control (no fertilizer application); F1: PGPB-coated fertilizer (urea and phosphorous) &F2: uncoated fertilizer (urea and phosphorous)]. In a pot experiment, wheat plants were applied fertilizer in raised and well-watered (60 percent of field capacity) and water stressed (40 percent of field capacity) conditions in soil filled pots. In experiment-II (field study), similar treatments of fertilizer were revised, but well-watered and water stress treatments/plots were irrigated for 60 seconds and 30 seconds respectively. At maturity plants were harvested and various morphological (number of tillers/plant, number of spikelet/spike, number of grains/spike, weight of grains, biological yield, economic yield and harvest index) and biochemical parameters (leaf nitrogen, phosphorous & potassium contents) of crop were recorded. Leaf chlorophyll and relative water contents of crop were also measured 60 days after sowing. In this study, it was demonstrated that the water stress adversely affected all the above mentioned parameters. The PGPB coated fertilizer application in wheat significantly increased (p<0.01 for pot and p<0.05 for field study) morphological and biochemical parameters in the presence and absence of water stress both under net house and field conditions. We can conclude from these findings that application of PGPB coated fertilizer is valuable strategy to mitigate the water stress impact on wheat with improved yield.
Keywords: Coated fertilizer; Un-coated fertilizer; PGPB; Chlorophyll; Harvest inde