Vol. 8 No. 2
Water deficit condition and its impact on mulberry plant (Morus spp.) in relation to its growth and physiological parameters
Abstract: A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted from February to May in 2011 to determine the growth and leaf water status of mulberry (Morus alba) cv. S-1635 under different water stress treatments: T1=watering at one day interval to remain the soil moisture at field capacity (control), T2=watering once a week, T3=watering once every fortnight, and T4=watering once a month. The soil moisture content was 34.76, 25.63, 20.40 and 11.42% in T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively. There was a consistency in the rate of stem elongation up to 7 days but declining in elongation rate was recorded in T3 and T4. At 30 days, the plant height was maximum in T1 (14.3 cm) and minimum in T4 (7.3 cm). The number of branches per plant increased maximum in T1 and T2. The expansion of leaf area at 30 days was highest in T1 (7.1 cm2), followed by T2 (7.0 cm2). T1 resulted in the highest relative water content of 84.6% and leaf moisture (79.8). The dry weight of 100 leaves was maximum in T2 (18.0 g), followed by T1 (17.2 g) and minimum in T4 (11.0 g). The biomass production was decreased by 19.3% in T3 and 67.6% in T4, which were significantly lower than T1. Chlorophyll a, b and total were increased up to T2. The transpiration rate was significantly low in T4 than the other treatments where no significant difference was observed between T1, T2 and T3. The diffusive resistance was maximum in T4 and minimum in T1.
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