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Crop Science Abstract -

Sorghum Root Morphogenesis and Growth. II. Manifestation of Heterosis1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 17 No. 1, p. 153-157
    Received: July 6, 1976

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  1. A. Blum,
  2. W. R. Jordan and
  3. G. F. Arkin2



Manifestations of heterosis in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] aerial growth and grain yield are well documented. Meterosis in sorghum roots has not been reported. This study compared three grain sorghum hybrids (‘Combine Kafir-60’ ✕ ‘Combine 7078’, Combine Kafir-60 ✕ ‘Tx 2536’, and ‘Wheatland’ ✕ Tx 2536) and their parents, in order to determine if and how heterosis is manifested in root morphogenesis and growth. Plants were grown in hydroponics in the greenhouse until 40 days after emergence. Measurements were made on leaf area, length of seminal and adventitious roots, initiation rate of adventitious roots and root volume.

Heterosis (advantage of the hybrid over its best parent) was significant in all hybrids for length of the seminal root, growth rate of adventitious roots, and root volume. Heterosis in root volume was probably a result of promoted number and growth of lateral root branches. Consistent heterosis was not revealed in number of adventitious roots per plant, nor in seminal and adventitious root dry matter.

The results are discussed in terms of current concepts of heterosis in sorghum. Possibilities for the development of some selection criteria for root improvement are suggested.

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