Plant and Soil

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 49–57 | Cite as

Growth and yield traits of sorghum grown on acid soil at varied aluminum saturations

  • C. I. Flores
  • R. B. Clark
  • L. M. Gourley


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.

Key words

Al toxicity genotype difference grain and yield components mineral stress plant adaptation root mass soil acidity Sorghum bicolor 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bastos C R 1982 Inheritance Study of Aluminum Tolerance in Sorghum in Nutirient Culture. Ph.D. Thesis. Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS. (Diss. Abstr. 40,2069-B).Google Scholar
  2. Bastos C and Gourley L 1982 Rapid screening of sorghum seedlings for tolerance to low pH and aluminum.In Sorghum in the eighties, Vol. 2. Eds. L R House, L K Mughogho and J M Peacock. p 742. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India.Google Scholar
  3. Boye-Goni S R and Marcarian V 1985 Diallel analysis of aluminum tolerance in selected lines of grain sorghum. Crop Sci. 25, 749–752.Google Scholar
  4. Brown J C, Clark R B and Jones W E 1977 Efficient and inefficient use of phosphorus by sorghum. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 41, 747–750.Google Scholar
  5. Brown J C and Jones W E 1977 Fitting plants nutritionally to soil. III. Sorghum. Agron. J. 69, 410–414.Google Scholar
  6. Clark R B 1982 Plant response to mineral element toxicity and deficiency.In Breeding plants for less favorable environments. Eds. M N Christiansen and C F Lewis. pp 71–142. John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Clark R B, Flores C I and Gourley L M 1988 Mineral element concentrations in acid soil tolerant and susceptiable sorghum genotypes. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. (in press).Google Scholar
  8. Duncan R R 1981 Variability among sorghum genotypes for uptake of elements under acid soil field conditions. J. Plant Nutr. 4, 21–32.Google Scholar
  9. Duncan R R 1983 Concentration of critical nutrients in tolerant and susceptible sorghum lines for use in screening under acid soil field conditions.In Genetic Aspects of Plant Nutrition. Eds. M R Saric and B C Loughman. pp 101–104. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. J. W. Junk Publ., The Hague, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  10. Duncan R R, Clark R B and Furlani P R 1983a Laboratory and field evaluations of sorghum for response to aluminum and acid soil. Agron J. 75, 1023–1026.Google Scholar
  11. Duncan R R, Sutton J D and Dominy R E 1983b Leaf mineral element concentrations and growth of sweet sorghum subjected to acid soil stress. J. Plant Nutr. 6, 781–799.Google Scholar
  12. Flores C I and Gourley L M 1986 Development and improvement of superior sorghum germplasm with tolerance to soil acidity. p 83.In Proc. XVI Brazilian Maize and Sorghum Congress, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 4–8 August 1986. Brazillian Department of Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA), Brasilia.Google Scholar
  13. Flores C I, Gourley L M and Coronado M 1986 Screening and breeding sorghum for tolerance to acid soils. Sorghum Newsletter 29, 3–4.Google Scholar
  14. Foy C D 1984 Physiological effects of hydrogen, aluminum, and manganese toxicities in acid soil.In Soil Acidity and Liming. Ed. F Adams. pp 57–97. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  15. Foy C D, Chaney R L and White M C 1978 The physiology of metal toxicity in plants. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 29, 511–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Furlani P R and Clark R B 1981 Screening sorghum for aluminum tolerance in nutrient solutions. Agron. J. 73, 587–594.Google Scholar
  17. Furlani P R, Clark R B, Ross W M and Maranville J W 1983 Variability and genetic control of aluminum tolerance in sorghum genotypes.In Genetic Aspects of Plant Nutrition. Eds. M R Saric and B C Loughman. pp 453–461. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr J W Junk Publisher. The Hague, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  18. Grundon N J, Edwards D E, Asher C J, Takkar P N and Clark R B 1987 Nutritional disorders of grain sorghum. Monogram Ser. No. 2, Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Canberra Australia. (in press).Google Scholar
  19. Hargrove W L and Thomas G W 1981 Effect of organic matter on exchangeable aluminum and plant growth in acid soils.In Chemistry in the Soil Environment, American Society of Agronomy, Sp. Publ. No. 40. pp 151–166. American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  20. Sanchez P A and Salinas J G 1981 Low-input technology for managing oxisols and ultisols in tropical America. Adv. Agron. 34, 279–405.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. I. Flores
    • 1
  • R. B. Clark
    • 2
  • L. M. Gourley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  2. 2.US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Department of AgronomyUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA

Personalised recommendations