Agronomic and physiological responses of sorghum drought tolerance to film antitranspirant

Samaila, J.T. (2018) Agronomic and physiological responses of sorghum drought tolerance to film antitranspirant. Doctoral thesis, Harper Adams University.

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Drought is one of the most limiting environmental constraints to plant survival and productivity globally. Thus, studying means of improving drought resistance of plants continues to assume importance. Hence the need to explore other means of reducing plant water stress apart from breeding drought tolerant plant varieties. Application of transpiration suppressants also called antitranspirants can alleviate the effect of water stress on plants by decreasing transpiration and thereby increasing plant water status and prolonging plant survival under water stress. Transpiration suppressants are of different types one of which is the film antitranspirant. Although a drought tolerant crop, significant yield losses have been recorded in sorghum due to water stress. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the response of sorghum drought tolerance to film antitranspirant with a view to optimizing sorghum yield under water stress through antitranspirant application. The study was carried out between February 2015 and February 2017 and involved eight different experiments, six in the glasshouse and two in the field under rain out shelters. Transpiration, growth and yield of sorghum were investigated using three sorghum cultivars under drought and antitranspirant at different plant growth stages. Drought significantly decreased transpiration and grain number but growth and grain yield and other yield components were not significantly reduced. The antitranspirant significantly decreased transpiration and significantly increased green area index, but yield and other yield components were not significantly affected. The reason for a lack of significant effects of the antitranspirant on grain yield and other yield components is attributable to yield compensation in sorghum under water stress which obscured any improvements in yield by the antitranspirant. In conclusion, antitranspirant reduced transpiration and increased growth in droughted sorghum but did not increase yield and yield components. However, grain yield and yield components were not lower in the droughted sprayed compared with the unsprayed plants either. Thus, application of antitranspirant has potentials to improve drought tolerance in sorghum.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions: Agriculture and Environment (from 1.08.20)
Depositing User: Mrs Rachael Giles
Date Deposited: 04 May 2023 10:05
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 10:05

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