Water stress affects the germination, emergence, and growth of different sorghum cultivars

  • Wondimu Bayu Sirinka Agricultural Research Center, PO Box 74, Weldia, Welo, Ethiopia
  • NFG Rethman Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
  • PS Hammes Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
  • PA Pieterse Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
  • J Grimbeek Department of Statistics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
  • M Van Der Linde Department of Statistics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to study the effects of water deficit stress on the germination, emergence and seedling growth of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] using Completely Randomised Block Design in four replications. Five sorghum cultivars (Jigurti, Gambella 1107, Meko, 76 T1 #23 and P9403) were evaluated under three water deficit stress treatments (0, -0.20 and -0.85 MPa) using PEG as an osmoticum (Experiment I) and under four varying growing media water contents (100, 60, 40 and 20% of field capacity) using sand (Experiment II). In both experiments, water deficit stress significantly reduced the rate and percentage of germination and emergence and early seedlings growth. Coleoptile, mesocotyl, radicle, and seedling shoot and root lengths, as well as root area were adversely affected by water deficit stress. Cultivars differed in the rate and percentage of germination, and emergence and seedling growth. Gambella 1107, Meko and P9403 had significantly (P<0.01) higher rates and percentages of germination and emergence. The rate of germination and emergence, the growth of the coleoptile, mesocotyl, and radicle and the shoot and root length and root area were found important traits to identify cultivars tolerant to water deficit stress at germination.

Keywords: emergence, germination, seedling growth, sorghum, water deficit

SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol. 28(2) 2005: 119-128
Published
2006-04-12
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2520-7997
print ISSN: 0379-2897