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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Drought Response of Sorghum Hybrids under a Sprinkler Irrigation Gradient System1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 1, p. 102-107

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  1. M. K. O'Neill,
  2. W. Hofmann,
  3. A. K. Dobrenz and
  4. V. Marcarian2



Reliable techniques for identification of drought-resistant germplasm are essential if new lines and hybrids are to be developed for arid and semiarid areas of the world. This experiment was designed to evaluate the irrigation gradient system as a mechanism for evaluating drought tolerance in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moencb.] in the field. Fifty sorghum hybrids which were developed with A-lines ‘CK-60’ and ‘Redlan’ were planted perpendicular to the mainline of the sprinkler irrigation gradient system at Yuma, Ariz. in 1979 and 1980. The soil was a superstition sand (sandy, mixed, hyperthermic Typic Calciorthid) with an average available soil moisture of 3.6 % . Characteristics including panicle rank, anthesis date, plant height, panicle and peduncle length, crown diameter, and plant weight were measured on plants of each hybrid grown in the high and low water areas of the gradient system. The distance from the line source to the last grain-producing panicle in the low water area of the gradient was also measured on each hybrid. Hybrids developed with CK-60 were able to produce seed-producing panicles in drier areas of the gradient compared to hybrids developed with Redlan. The average distance from the sprinkler Line source was 14.4 m for CK-60 hybrids and 11.3 m for Redlan hybrids over both years. Days to anthesis, panicle and peduncle length of plants in the stressed area of the gradient may be potential indicators of drought resistance. The irrigation gradient system is a useful tool for evaluating drought resistance and the selection of parental lines over a wide range of available soil moisture conditions.

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