Physiological comparisons of switchgrass cultivars differing in transpiration efficiency.

Byrd, G.T. and May ii, P.A. (2000) Physiological comparisons of switchgrass cultivars differing in transpiration efficiency. Crop Science, 40 (5). pp. 1271-1277.

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Production of forage species like switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is often relegated to areas with low inputs of water and fertilizer, therefore, selection should be based on efficient use of these resources. This study examined genotypic variation in switchgrass transpiration efficiency (TE), defined as the weight of dry matter per unit of water transpired, under conditions of water and N stress. Since reports show TE to be correlated with specific leaf weight (SLW) and leaf ash, these easily measured traits were assessed for their potential as predictors of switchgrass TE. In one greenhouse experiment with 9 cultivars (Alamo, Blackwell, Carthage, Cave-in-rock, Forestburg, Greenville, Kanlow, Pathfinder and Shelter) and 2 outdoor pot experiments in Vermont, USA, (in the summers of 1997 and 1998) with 2 cultivars, Alamo and Greenville, plants were grown in closed 5-litre containers in a soil-peat mix or solution culture and subjected to water or N deficit. Cultivars differed in TE; however, TE did not differ between water stressed and well-watered conditions. With decreasing N in solution, TE also decreased. Cultivars differed in their values of TE when grown in nutrient solutions containing 10.0 and 1.0 mM N, but not at 0.3 mM N. Transpiration efficiency was positively correlated with SLW in each experiment and across all experiments (r=0.85). Correlation between TE and leaf ash was inconsistent, with a negative relationship in the N experiment. The results show differences in TE among switchgrass cultivars and show that SLW is consistently predictive of TE.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors are grateful to Michael Previs for his excellent field assistance.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Switchgrass Cultivars, Transpiration Efficiency, Panicum virgatum, Specific leaf weight
Author Affiliation: Department of Biology, St. Michael's College, Winooski Park, Colchester, USA.
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry > Plant Physiology
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 10:15
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2012 10:15
Official URL:

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