Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Chinese water chestnut [Eleocharis dulcis (Burm. f.) Trin. ex Hensch.] corms are used as a canned or raw vegetable worldwide and may have potential use as a functional vegetable for human health uses. The accessions in the USDA, ARS, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit do not produce very many or healthy corms when grown in plastic pots containing flooded sand in Griffin, GA. The objectives of this study were to 1) compare Chinese water chestnut corm production in flooded sand versus a drip irrigating hydroponic system for maximizing high quality corm production, 2) estimate variability for corm production among 5 Chinese water chestnut accessions, and 3) use cluster analysis for grouping accessions into phenotypes. Five Chinese water chestnut accessions were planted in a drip irrigated hydroponic system and in plastic pots containing flooded sand inside a greenhouse at Griffin, GA during 2013 and 2014. One mature corm per accession was planted in buckets containing perlite within the hydroponic system and in plastic pots containing flooded sand during the spring and summer of 2013 and 2014, respectively. After approximately 210 days, the number of corms were harvested, counted and weighed. Significantly more corms per accession (ranging from 102 – 241) and weights (ranging from 429 – 476 g) were produced in the drip irrigated hydroponic system when compared to the flooded sand method where corm numbers per accession ranged from 47 – 49 weighing 77 – 224 g for all accessions during both years. Individual accession effects were detected for both live number and weight of corms when the drip irrigated produced corms were compared to those grown in flooded sand. Principal component analysis indicated that both principal components were correlated the same for corm production traits. Cluster analysis grouped all accessions into well-defined phenotypes based on corm production. Drip irrigated hydroponics was successful in maximizing corm production for regeneration.