Dynamics of Moisture, Nitrogen, and Striga Infestation on Pearl Millet Transpiration and Growth uri icon

abstract

  • The parasitic weed Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. (witchweed) is a major biotic constraint to pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) production in Sahelian Africa. To address this constraint, more information is needed on host-parasite relations under varying conditions of soil water and nutrient availability typically found in the Sahel. The dynamics of moisture, N, and Striga infestation on pearl millet transpiration and growth were investigated. The effects of Striga infestation, water deficit stress, and N availability on root length and dry weight, shoot dry weight, and transpiration ratio (TR; g dry matter kg?1 transpiration) were evaluated. Millet was grown in 36-L pots for 45 d in a glasshouse, using two levels of water and N availability and three levels of Striga infestation. With no N, shoot dry weight of uninfested millet plants was low. Shoot weight was further reduced by 42% at the high level (71 000 seeds pot?) of Striga infestation. With the addition of 60 kg ha? of N, shoot weight of uninfested millet plants increased five- to sixfold. A reduction of 36% in shoot weight was observed in plants with N and highest infestation of Striga. Root dry weight was also low without N, but unaffected by Striga infestation. With the addition of N, root dry weight of millet plants increased under adequate and water-stressed conditions. Root length in the upper 0.10 m followed a similar trend

publication date

  • 1996
  • 1996