Genetic manipulation of crops to tolerate mineral stresses is a practical approach to improve productivity of tropical acid soils. Both acid soil tolerant (AS-T) and susceptible (AS-S) sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] genotypes were grown in the field on an acid ultisol at Quilichao, Colombia, South America at 60% (60-Al) and 40% (40-Al) Al saturation to evaluate plants for growth and yield traits.
Except for days to flowering and root mass scores, AS-T genotypes showed no differences in growth (plant height, head length and width, second internode length and diameter, and acid soil toxicity rating) and yield (total and stover dry matter yields, grain yield, head yield, seeds per head, and 100-seed weight) traits when plants were grown at 60-Al or 40-Al. Plants grown at 60-Al were delayed in flowering and had lower root mass scores. The AS-S genotypes showed improvement for the growth and yield traits when grown at 40-Al compared to 60-Al. The growth and yield traits of the AS-S genotypes were usually less favorable for plants grown at 40-Al than the same traits were for the AS-T genotypes grown at 60-Al. Harvest indices (ratio of grain to total plant yield) were no different for the genotypes grown at 40-Al, and only slightly higher for the AS-T genotypes grown at 60-Al. Sorghum genotypes more tolerant to acid soil conditions showed favorable growth and yield traits when grown under relatively severe acid soil (60-Al, pH 4.1) conditions. Certain sorghum genotypes were able to adapt and effectively produce grain when grown on acid soils with few inputs to reduce acid soil toxicity problems.
Al toxicitygenotype differencegrain and yield componentsmineral stressplant adaptationroot masssoil aciditySorghum bicolor