Plant characteristics associated with weed competitiveness of rice under upland and lowland conditions in West Africa uri icon


  • Weeds are a major constraint to rice (Oryzaspp.) production in West Africa. Superior weed competitive rice genotypes may reduce weed pressure and improve rice productivity. Two upland and two lowland experiments were conducted in southern Benin to examine genotypic variations in weed-suppressive ability and grain yield under weedy conditions, and to identify plant characteristics that could be used as selection criteria for improved weed competitiveness. A total of 19 genotypes, including Oryza sativa and Oryzaglaberrimagenotypes and interspecific hybrids developed from crossing O. sativa and O. glaberrima, were grown under weed-free and weedy conditions in an upland with supplemental irrigation and in a flooded lowland. In weedy plots, hand weeding was done once or not at all. Mean relative yield loss across all genotypes due to weed competition ranged from almost 0% to 61%. Large genotypic variations in weed biomass and grain yield under weedy conditions were found. Visual growth vigor at 42 and 63 days after sowing (DAS) under weed-free conditions significantly correlated with weed biomass at maturity in both upland and lowland experiments (R2 = 0.26–0.48). Where weed pressure was low to moderate, with mean relative yield loss less than 23%, the multiple regression models using grain yield and plant height at maturity or only grain yield measured under weed-free conditions as independent variables could explain 66–88% of the genotypic variation in grain yield under weedy conditions. At higher weed pressure (mean relative yield loss: 61%), as observed in one of the upland experiments,biomass accumulation of rice at 42 days after sowing was associated with higher grain yield under weedy conditions. Biomass accumulation also significantly correlated with visual growth vigor at the same sampling dates. Therefore, we conclude that grain yield, plant height atmaturity and visual growth vigor at 42–63 DAS under weed-free condit ions appear to be useful selection criteria for developing uperior weed competitive rice genotypes

publication date

  • 2012