Submitted to: American Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2015
Publication Date: 10/21/2015
Citation: Gitz, D.C., Baker, J.T., Xin, Z., Burke, J.J., Lascano, R.J. 2015. Canopy Light Interception of a Conventional and an Erect Leaf Mutant Sorghum. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 6, 2576-2584.
Interpretive Summary: Sorghum is a drought tolerant plant that can be grown in dry regions without irrigation. A new type of sorghum was developed that has erect leaves, leaves that are vertically rather than horizontally oriented. We hypothesized that the erect leafed sorghum could be planted closer together that the regular leafed sorghum. To test this we planted the two sorghums in the field and measured light penetration thorough the canopy and how well the plants grew. We found that the erect leaf characteristic allowed the sorghum to be planted at a higher density.
Technical Abstract: Two sorghum lines, an erect leafed mutant sorghum and the wild type from which the mutant was generated, were field grown in rectilinear arrays at low (23 plants per square meter) and high (10 plants per square meter) population densities. Canopy light interception, biomass accretion and yield were measured. Photosynthetically active radiation under the canopy at ground level and midway through the canopy were higher in the erect leafed line, as compared to the normal leafed line. Planting density had less effect on mean yield and biomass accretion in the erect leaf line than in the wild type. Taken together, the results suggest that optimal planting densities are higher for the erect leaf line and that this could be a useful trait for incorporation into breeding programs.