Phenotypic and physiological aspects related to drought tolerance in sorghum
AbstractDrought is one of the major limitations to crop productivity worldwide. Identifying suitable screening tools and quantifiable traits would facilitate the crop improvement process for drought tolerance in sorghum. This study evaluated phenotypic characteristics and physiological parameters determine which cultivars are more drought tolerant. Signs of drought intolerance in sorghum include leaf rolling, death of lower leaves, stunted growth and low yields. Experiments were conducted using 8 and 25 sorghum accessions planted at two sites in Kenya, namely; Biotechnology Centre and Kiboko Research site, respectively, for evaluation and seeds maintenance.
Based on phenotypic characteristic of the 25 cultivars evaluated, the best drought tolerant cultivars were, IS.13615, KAK1950, KBM078, E-36.1, B-35, KBM-003 and IE SV 92036. These observations were specifically
deduced from their performance, root characteristics, tillering ability and leaf parameters as drought tolerance indicators. B 35 and E-36 ranked the highest relative water content in leaves, hence more drought tolerant.