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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Nitrate and Total Alkaloid Concentration of 11 Pearl Millet Lines1

 

This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 76 No. 1, p. 157-159
     
    Received: Jan 26, 1983


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doi:10.2134/agronj1984.00021962007600010037x
  1. Beverly B. Krejsa,
  2. F. M. Rouquette Jr.,
  3. E. C. Holt,
  4. B. J. Camp and
  5. L. R. Nelson2

Abstract

Abstract

Pearl millet [Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke] forage has been reported to become unpalatable under drought stress conditions in east Texas. This unpalatable millet has been found to contain high levels of nitrate and total alkaloid relative to palatable, apparently unstressed, pearl millet. This study was conducted to determine if alkaloid and nitrate levels vary among pearl millet lines. Eleven lines were evaluated in the field on a Darco soil (loamy, siliceous, thermic Grossarenic Paleudult). Chemical analyses were conducted on leaf blades, and stems plus sheaths of vegetative plants. Millet lines differed for total forage alkaloid concentration as well as for total forage nitrate concentration (P < 0.05). Though alkaloid levels of the lines were relatively low, they ranged six-fold (from 17 to 101 mg kg−1) among millet lines. Nitrate levels ranged from 2.4 to 9.8 g kg−1 among the lines. Total forage alkaloid and nitrate levels were positively correlated (r = 0.45, P < 0.05). Leaf blades contained more total alkaloid than stems plus sheaths, 75 vs. 17 mg kg−1, respectively; while stems plus sheaths contained more nitrate than leaf blades, 10.8 vs. 3.9 g kg−1, respectively. It may be possible to develop lines that have both low alkaloid and low nitrate accumulations.

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