Lately sweet sorghum (S) has attracted great interest as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production due to its high yielding potential and better adaptation to drought than maize (M). However, little is known about the response of newly developed sweet sorghum genotypes to water deficits, especially at the root level and its water uptake patterns. The objective of this study was to compare the water uptake capacity, growth and developmental characteristics at the root and canopy levels of a sweet sorghum hybrid (Sorghum bicolor cv. Sucro 506) with those of maize (Zea mays cv. PR32F73) at two water regimes. The trial was setup in a total of 20 rhizotrons (1 m3), where calibrated soil moisture probes were installed for monitoring and adjusting the soil moisture content to 25% (well-watered, W) and 12% (drought stress, D). Results DS was able to sustain its physiological activity close to that of WS plants, while maize was not. The biomass production potential of DS was reduced about 38%, while in maize the reduction was 47%. The water use efficiency (WUE), however, was increased by 20% in sweet sorghum and reduced in 5% in maize. Moreover, in contrast to maize the root length density and water uptake capacity of DS was enhanced. Root water uptake efficiency in DM was sustained close to its potential, but not in sweet sorghum. In summary, the better adaptation to drought of sweet sorghum is explained by increased WUE, sustained physiological activity and enlarged root system. It is also associated with a reduced water uptake efficiency compared to its control but maintained compared to maize.

Water uptake efficiency and above- and belowground biomass development of sweet sorghum and maize under different water regimes

ZEGADA LIZARAZU, WALTER;MONTI, ANDREA
2012

Abstract

Lately sweet sorghum (S) has attracted great interest as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production due to its high yielding potential and better adaptation to drought than maize (M). However, little is known about the response of newly developed sweet sorghum genotypes to water deficits, especially at the root level and its water uptake patterns. The objective of this study was to compare the water uptake capacity, growth and developmental characteristics at the root and canopy levels of a sweet sorghum hybrid (Sorghum bicolor cv. Sucro 506) with those of maize (Zea mays cv. PR32F73) at two water regimes. The trial was setup in a total of 20 rhizotrons (1 m3), where calibrated soil moisture probes were installed for monitoring and adjusting the soil moisture content to 25% (well-watered, W) and 12% (drought stress, D). Results DS was able to sustain its physiological activity close to that of WS plants, while maize was not. The biomass production potential of DS was reduced about 38%, while in maize the reduction was 47%. The water use efficiency (WUE), however, was increased by 20% in sweet sorghum and reduced in 5% in maize. Moreover, in contrast to maize the root length density and water uptake capacity of DS was enhanced. Root water uptake efficiency in DM was sustained close to its potential, but not in sweet sorghum. In summary, the better adaptation to drought of sweet sorghum is explained by increased WUE, sustained physiological activity and enlarged root system. It is also associated with a reduced water uptake efficiency compared to its control but maintained compared to maize.
2012
Zegada-Lizarazu W.; Monti A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/114799
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