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Biology 2017, 6(3), 33; doi:10.3390/biology6030033

Seed Coating with Hydro-Absorbers as Potential Mitigation of Early Season Drought in Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench)

1
51 Campus Drive Saskatoon, Department of Plant Sciences College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan, SK S7N5A8, Canada
2
Institute for Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute) Garbenstr. 13, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Masayuki Fujita and Mirza Hasanuzzaman
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seed Germination and Growth of Plants under Abiotic Stress)
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Abstract

Climate change poses a threat to sorghum production systems by shifting the onset of the rainy season to a later date, increasing the risk of crop failure during crop establishment. The effects of drought on sorghum during seedling establishment have not been determined. Coating seeds with a water absorbing substance offers a way to buffer the seed against insufficient moisture in the surrounding soil. Seeds of two different sorghum varieties were coated with one of two commercially available hydro-absorbers: Stokosorb® and Geohumus®. These hydro-absorbers have the capacity to store water several times their own weight. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of the cited hydro-absorbers on early seedling growth of two sorghum landraces under different levels of soil water deficit. Seedlings were grown for 12 days under three water availability levels (Field capacity (FC), 50% of FC, and 25% of FC). The seedlings under water limited treatments were subsequently re-watered. Biomass, root length, plant height, leaf area, and leaf extension rate were monitored in two-day intervals for 24 days. Coating strongly affected seedling growth both under fully watered and water deficit conditions. Sorghum varieties differed in their responses to both soil water deficit and coating materials. In general, Stockosorb improved seedling performance under water limited conditions particularly by promoting root growth, whereas Geohumus did not. View Full-Text
Keywords: Susu; Piper; root-shoot-ratio; Mantelsaat; leaf development Susu; Piper; root-shoot-ratio; Mantelsaat; leaf development
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gorim, L.; Asch, F. Seed Coating with Hydro-Absorbers as Potential Mitigation of Early Season Drought in Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench). Biology 2017, 6, 33.

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