Water deficit is one of the most important factors to limit banana productivity in the world, especially in dry and semidry areas where large fluctuation in the amount and distribution of the rain these areas faces. Some cultivars and hybrids have a set of physiological adaptations that allow them to tolerate water deficit and the degree of morphological and physiological adaptations may vary considerably among species. This study examined the relationship between the yield reduction by leaf area (LA), leaf area index (LAI) and specific leaf weight (SLW). Our results showed significant reduction in all growth attributes at all the stages due to water deficit. Association between all these growth attributes character and yield components was observed particularly at 5th and 7th MAP stage. It is clear that all these parameters could explain some of the mechanisms which indicate tolerance to drought and help in understanding the physiological responses that enable plants to adapt to water deficit and maintain growth and productivity during stress period and indicate important of these traits in future breeding programs for screening and selection of tolerant cultivars and hybrids of banana.
Key words: Banana, water deficit, leaf area, leaf area index, specific leaf weight and yield.
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