L.) is a native Iranian oilseed crop adapted to various environments in the country. It can be planted as a winter or spring crop. The calculation of drought resistance indices could help us to identify drought-resistant genotypes. To determine these yield-based indices, an investigation was carried out with 16 safflower varieties/lines in spring planting at six research stations located at Sararood, Maragheh, Ghamlo, Zanjan, Shirvan and Kohdasht in 2001. The experiments were laid out in a random complete block design under drought-stressed and non-stressed conditions with three replications. Drought resistance indices, including MP, GMP, TOL, STI and SSI, were calculated from the seed yield data. The genotypes were planted in a greenhouse and the cell membrane stability (CMS) was measured using PEG solutions. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences for all indices between the locations, so experiments should be conducted at different locations over several years for the accurate estimation of drought resistance indices. STI was the best index to identify superior genotypes in conditions both with and without drought stress. The estimation of STI from the mean of all locations showed that Gila had the highest STI (0.430), with high seed yield under both conditions. Analysis of variance showed significant differences between the genotypes for CMS at the 1% level of probability, with the highest value for S-541 and the lowest for Kino-76. There were significant and strong correlations between STI, MP and GMP with CMS, so cell membrane stability could be useful as a fast, cheap method for screening germplasm and identifying drought-resistant genotypes. Cluster analysis on the basis of STI, MP, GMP, CMS and seed yield under both stressed and non-stressed conditions divided the genotypes into three groups.
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