African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6693

Full Length Research Paper

An agronomic approach to screen sugar and energy cane genotypes for drought tolerance

S. Elsayed-Farag
  • S. Elsayed-Farag
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University System, Weslaco, TX 78596, USA.
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M. De Almeida Silva
  • M. De Almeida Silva
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, UNESP-São Paulo State University, P. O. Box 237, Botucatu, SP 18603-970, Brazil.
  • Google Scholar
N. Solis-Garcia
  • N. Solis-Garcia
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University System, Weslaco, TX 78596, USA.
  • Google Scholar
J. Enciso
  • J. Enciso
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University System, Weslaco, TX 78596, USA.
  • Google Scholar
J. Da Silva
  • J. Da Silva
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University System, Weslaco, TX 78596, USA.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 26 March 2018
  •  Accepted: 30 April 2018
  •  Published: 07 June 2018

Abstract

Sugarcane production can be affected by extreme environmental conditions, such as drought stress. This study focused on establishing a screening method to evaluate and select drought tolerant germplasm of Saccharum species. A new drought screening methodology is presented in this paper. A randomized block design experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions with 2 months old seedlings of five genotypes of Saccharum spontaneum (IRAN 28, JW43, TUS12-72, TUS12-23, X08-0299) and one genotype of a commercial cultivar (Saccharum spp. CP72-1210), under well-irrigated and water stress conditions. Three treatments were established with irrigation intervals at 3, 6, and 9 days, with four replicates per each genotype in each treatment. Evapotranspiration, stomatal conductance, total biomass, leaf death rate, rate of new tillers and shoot growth were evaluated during the experiment. JW43 and CP72-1210 presented the highest values of stomatal conductance with non-significant differences. Accumulated water used by all the genotypes was significantly different among the three treatments. Also, significant differences were found in the total dry biomass among all the treatments. Results showed that TUS12-23 genotype can be classified as very tolerant to drought stress and JW43 is the less tolerant, whereas the other genotypes could be susceptible and may survive under mild drought conditions. Results also indicated that the methodology used, and the parameters measured are effective in identifying sugarcane germplasm with extreme reaction to drought stress.
 
Key words: Drought stress, Saccharum species, biomass, stomatal conductance, agronomic parameters.