Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #362859

Research Project: Development and Application of Mechanistic Process-Driven Crop Models for Assessing Effects and Adapting Agriculture to Climate Changes

Location: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

Title: Genotypic variability in cotton for transpiration decrease with progressive soil drying

item MURA, JYOSTNA - Non ARS Employee
item Reddy, Vangimalla

Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cotton is grown as a leading commercial crop providing the majority of the fiber used in the textile industry globally. However, the cotton yield is hindered by water stress when the crop is grown in arid and semi-arid areas. Yield increase may be possible by selecting genotypes that express physiological traits that are desirable for water-limited conditions. Water conservation is one possible physiological trait for increasing yield since this trait could increase water availability during critical stages of plant development. Seventeen cotton genotypes were selected for this study based on differences in their sensitivity to drought. The plants were grown in a controlled environmental facility at BARC under well-watered conditions for thirty days until the experiments. The plants were subjected to dry-down experiments in pots in controlled environmental growth chambers to determine the threshold fraction of transpirable soil water (FTSW) for the decrease in transpiration rate as the soil dried. Significant differences (P<0.001) in the threshold FTSW for transpiration decline were observed to range among genotypes from 30 to 60 percent of soil water content. Four genotypes out of seventeen were further selected to study the water potential differences to the soil drying. Genotypes differed between low and high thresholds for transpiration decline also differed significantly (P<0.05) in their water potentials. The genotypes with high FTSW threshold reduced their water potential values (-1.30±0.20 MPa) at a higher fraction of available soil water level compared to low FTSW-threshold genotypes (0.88±0.18 MPa). Water conservation could be achieved by slower transpiration rate with soil drying initiated at a high fraction of transpirable soil water (FTSW) so that the use of soil water is extended over a longer period of time. This water conservation strategy may allow the crop to have water available during the critical phase of crop growth. These results demonstrated that among the cotton genotypes there are several alternative traits for enhancing soil water conservation for growth under dryland conditions.