ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0144.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Deep root system; Photosynthetic rate; Root angle; Root length; Sorghum; Transpiration rate
Online: 8 November 2021 (13:27:53 CET)
Drought decreases grain yield of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], and understanding the mechanism(s) related to drought tolerance is critical for sustaining sorghum production. Variation in root and shoot traits associated with drought tolerance were analyzed to provide an integrated view of factors that underlie the drought tolerance of sorghum. The plants were grown in the root column up to the five-leaf stage, then exposed to either 0.9 fraction of transpirable soil water (FTSW) or 0.4 FTSW for five days. In another experiment, at the five-leaf stage, stress was imposed for 14 days. Various root and shoot traits associated with drought tolerance were recorded. The seminal root angle of IS13540 was lower (24.4) than IS23143 (42.6). Drought stress increased the maximum root length (40%) and total root length (58%) of IS13540 than its irrigated control. In contrast, the maximum root length and total root length were decreased in IS23143. Similarly, across the lines, drought stress decreased stomatal conductance (37%), transpiration rate (42%), photosynthetic rate (40%), photosystem II quantum yield (20%), photochemical quenching (44%), and total dry matter production (34%) than irrigated control. An increased transpiration rate was observed in IS23143 than IS13540 under irrigated and drought stress. In IS23143, the reduction in photosynthetic rate under drought may be a combination of stomatal and non-stomatal factors. However, in IS13540, the reduction is especially by the stomatal factors. It is evident that IS13540 is a drought-tolerant line, and tolerance is related to a deep prolific root system and reduced tran-spiration rate.