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The Reaction Of Two Varieties Of Sugarcane To Water Stress

N. Inman-Bamber, J. M. Jager
Published 1986 · Biology

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Abstract Sugarcane yields in South Africa are restricted largely by drought and little is yet known about adjustments to water stress amongst locally bred cultivars. Plants of two cultivars were grown in 80-1 bins and were kept free of water stress (W1) or were subjected to either moderate stress (W2) or severe stress (W3) on four occasions. Threshold leaf water potentials were established for plant (mainly leaf) extension, start and end of stomatal closure, leaf rolling and leaf senescene. These thresholds tended to be lower in the last than in the first stress cycle. Osmotic potential, determined by a pressure/volume technique, was −0.93 MPa prior to stress imposition; it fell to −1.27 MPa in unstressed plants and to −1.45 MPa in severely stressed plants when water was withheld for the fourth time. N11 appeared to be better adapted to water stress than NC0376 in that it could adjust its leaf area more rapidly and tended to elongate at a slightly lower leaf water potential than did NC0376.
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