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Response of Cassava (Manihot esculenta crantz) genotypes to soil Moisture Status.

Henok Yemanebirhan Weldeselassie(Researcher) Jimma University College of Agriculture [Corporate Author]

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Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a tropical woody shrub. The crop is drought tolerant with a great genetic variability among the genotypes for the trait. However, growth and yield responses of cassava genotypes under drought stress and the mechanism of tolerance have not been well studied and documented. Therefore, the experiment was conducted to identify cassava genotypes tolerant to moisture stress through withholding water and to elucidate the impact of early water stress on the physio- morphological properties of the plants. The performance of eight cassava genotypes was evaluated in a rain shelter at JARC. Factorial combinations of two watering treatments (sufficiently watered and water stressed) and eight genotypes (5028-73, 53115-40, 5648-50, AAGT-108, Wollamo, 5632-800, AAGT-028 and 25/84) were arranged in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three replications. Vegetative growth, dry matter yield, some physiological parameters, stress score and rate of recovery from water stress were recorded. The genotypes showed significant differences (P¡Ü0.01) for plant height, stem number, total leaf area, SLA, total root length, root volume, leaf, stem and root fresh weight, leaf dry weight, total dry weight, leaf RWC, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll fluorescence and chlorophyll contents. Based on growth and physiological parameters, genotypes 5648-50 and Wollamo had significantly higher performance and adaptability, while genotype 5028-73 had poor
performance under moisture deficit conditions. Depending on their mean ranking positions, tolerance of genotypes to moisture stress followed the order of 5648-50 Wollamo AAGT-108 25/8 4 53115-40 5632-80 AAGT-028 5028-73.