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Open AccessArticle

Moderate Drip Irrigation Level with Low Mepiquat Chloride Application Increases Cotton Lint Yield by Improving Leaf Photosynthetic Rate and Reproductive Organ Biomass Accumulation in Arid Region

by Hongyun Gao 1,†, Hui Ma 1,†, Aziz Khan 1, Jun Xia 1, Xianzhe Hao 1, Fangyong Wang 2,* and Honghai Luo 1,*
1
Key Laboratory of Oasis Eco-Agriculture, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang 832003, China
2
Cotton Institute, Xinjiang Academy Agricultural and Reclamation Science, Shihezi, Xinjiang 832003, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120834
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbaceous Field Crops Cultivation)
Due to the changing climate, frequent episodes of drought have threatened cotton lint yield by offsetting their physiological and biochemical functioning. An efficient use of irrigation water can help to produce more crops per drop in cotton production systems. We assume that an optimal drip irrigation with low mepiquat chloride application could increase water productivity (WP) and maintain lint yields by enhancing leaf functional characteristics. A 2-year field experiment determines the response of irrigation regimes (600 (W1), 540 (W2), 480 (W3), 420 (W4) 360 (W5) m3 ha−1) on cotton growth, photosynthesis, fiber quality, biomass accumulation and yield. Mepiquat chloride was sprayed in different concentration at various growth phases (see material section). Result showed that W1 increased leaf area index (LAI) by 5.3–36.0%, net photosynthetic rate (Pn) by 3.4–23.2%, chlorophyll content (Chl) by 1.3–12.0% than other treatments. Improvements in these attributes led to higher lint yield. However, no differences were observed between W1 and W2 in terms of lint and seed cotton yield, but W2 increased WP by 3.7% in both years. Compared with other counterparts, W2 had the largest LAI (4.3–32.1%) at the full boll stage and prolonged reproductive organ biomass (ROB) accumulation by 30–35 d during the fast accumulation period (FAP). LAI, the average (VT) and maximum (VM) biomass accumulation rates of ROB were positively correlated with lint yield. In conclusion, the drip irrigation level of 540–600 m3 ha−1 with reduced MC application is a good strategy to achieve higher WP and lint yield by improving leaf photosynthetic traits and more reproductive organ biomass accumulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: drip irrigation quota; cotton; lint yield; water productivity; biomass drip irrigation quota; cotton; lint yield; water productivity; biomass
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Gao, H.; Ma, H.; Khan, A.; Xia, J.; Hao, X.; Wang, F.; Luo, H. Moderate Drip Irrigation Level with Low Mepiquat Chloride Application Increases Cotton Lint Yield by Improving Leaf Photosynthetic Rate and Reproductive Organ Biomass Accumulation in Arid Region. Agronomy 2019, 9, 834.

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