Root Effects on Cotton Growth and Yield1
- Avner Carmi and
- Joseph Shalhevet2
The growth of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants and the distribution of assimilates between their vegetative and reproductive organs were strongly affected by their root zone volume. Reduction of root growth resulting from growing the plants in small pots was accompanied by a considerable decrease in vegetative growth and an increase in the proportional accumulation of dry weight in the reproductive organs. The rate of vegetative growth, characterized by shoot weight and stem length, was positively correlated to the root zone volume which was limited by using pots of 2, 5, 10, or 25 L capacity. The ratio in dry weight of seed cotton to vegetative organs increased as the shoot growth decreased. Restriction of the root growth led to the development of a compact plant, characterized by short internodes, fewer leaves, and high ratios in dry weight of bolls to vegetative organs. Such a plant may be useful in increasing yields in dense canopies. Analyses of N, P, and K in the shoot, as well as measurements of water potential and stomatal resistance in the leaves, showed no significant differences between plants grown in different root zone volumes. It was concluded that the differences in growth rate were not caused mainly by N, P, K deficiency or by water stress, but were due to the differences in development of the root system as affected by the pot capacity.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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