A study was undertaken to evaluate 13 parents and their 40 hybrids for drought resistance in
order to use them in drought resistant breeding programmes. The parents and their hybrids were
studied under PVC pipe condition, where the plants were subjected to drought for a period of 15 days during tillering stage starting on 60 days after sowing. Observations were recorded on seven important root traits viz., root length, root volume, root length density, total number of roots, root thickness, root dry weight and root:shoot ratio. Six genotypes (Vellaichitraikar, Norungan, Nootripathu, Kallurundaikar, Chandaikar and PMK 3) showed significantly superior mean values than grand mean for most of the root traits. Therefore, these genotypes can be used as potential donors in drought resistant breeding programme. Among the hybrids, Kallurundaikar/IR 64, Kulliyadichan/ADT 45, Noungan/Co 47 Noungan/ASD 18, Nootripathu/Co 47 and Nootripathu/ASD 18 were identified as outstanding ones for improving drought tolerance as they registered significantly high mean value for majority of the root traits.