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Scientia Agricola

Print version ISSN 0103-9016On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


CAMACHO, Rafael; MALAVOLTA, Eurípedes; GUERRERO-ALVES, José  and  CAMACHO, Tomás. Vegetative growth of grain sorghum in response to phosphorus nutrition. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2002, vol.59, n.4, pp.771-776. ISSN 0103-9016.

Morphological variables such as phytomass, plant height, leaf area, number of leaves, have been used to express the influence of mineral nutrients on plant growth patterns, since the vegetative development responds, in general, favorably to fertilizer applications. This work evaluates the effect of P on both, some morphological characteristics and total [P] in the shoot of eight grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) genotypes. Genetic materials were grown in nutrient solution under three concentrations of P (0; 0.5 and 1.0 mmol L-1). Plants were harvested 41 days after sowing, and leaf area per plant (LA), number of leaves (NL) per plant, root volume (RV), plant height (PH), root dry matter (RDM), shoot dry matter (SDM), total dry matter (TDM), RDM/SDM ratio, and total P concentration in shoot were determined. RDM/SDM was high for treatment P(0) and diminished about twice when P was added. Lack of applied P decreased the final NL and LA. Shoot [P] was positively correlated with solution [P], but the increase in P concentration in the nutrient solution from 0.5 to 1.0 mmol L-1 had a negative effect on growth. Both under deficiency and sufficiency conditions of P, Himeca-101 showed the best behavior in terms of RDM, SDM, TDM, RV, LA and NL. LA and PH were identified as the best indicators to predict dry matter yield of sorghum plants under P supply conditions.

Keywords : sorghum; phosphorus; leaf area; plant height; root volume.

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