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Growth rhythms in sunflower (<i>Helianthus annuus</i> L.) in response to environmental disparity

S Kaleem
F ul- Hassan
A Razzaq
A Manaf
A Saleem


Sunflower hybrids maintain high level of stability in a variety of environments. Environmental variations affect and modify plant attributes like growth, development and assimilation through physio-morphic
functions, thus modifying plant phenology. Field experiments, one each in spring and autumn, were conducted at Pir Mehr Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan for two years (2007 and 2008) to document the effect of environmental variations on growth rhythms of sunflower hybrids. Four Sunflower hybrids, Alisson-RM, Parasio-24, MG-2 and S-278 were planted in randomized complete block design with four replications. The data based on physiological attributes like leaf area (LA),
specific leaf area (SLA), crop growth rate (CGR) and net assimilation rate (NAR) at 10 days interval after complete emergence to 60 days after emergence (DAE) were recorded. Overall higher values of LA, SLA, CGR and NAR were recorded during spring as compared to autumn for both years. LA, CGR and NAR of all the hybrids followed a sigmoid curve pattern during both seasons; however, at the start of the season lesser values were observed during spring as compared to autumn. SLA exhibited an
opposite trend and continuously decreased till the end. Sigmoid curve pattern of LA, CGR and NAR may be related to environmental variables like temperature and sunshine hours. The decrease after a peak may be due to senescence of older leaves and shifting of crop from vegetative to reproductive phase.

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eISSN: 1684-5315