This study aimed to identify the irrigation depth (305, 436, 567 and 698 mm), applied on the basis of crop evapotranspiration- ETc (the depth of 567 mm was equal to 100% of ETc) for best yield (Y) and water use efficiency (WUE) for irrigation and soil water stress tolerance (Ky) of sesame BRS 196 CNPA G4. The experiment was conducted at Embrapa Cotton, Barbalha County, CE State, Brazil, in 2012. The experimental design was randomized block, with three replications. ETc was calculated by multiplying the reference evapotranspiration (ETo) determined by Penman-Monteith method with the crop coefficients (Kc) recommended by FAO. For other irrigation treatments, ETc was multiplied by 0.4, 0.7 and 1.3 (40, 70 and 130% of ETc). During harvest, number of capsules (NC) per plant, yield (Y), oil content (O) of seeds, WUE and Ky were counted, calculated and determined. It was concluded that 698 mm irrigation depth provided the highest yield and oil content of sesame seeds; 305 mm irrigation depth allowed the best WUE of sesame irrigation; and, sesame BRS 196 CNPA G4 plants were tolerant to soil water stress.
Key words: Sesamum indicum L., evapotranspiration, fruits number, oil content, water stress.
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