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American Journal of Plant Physiology
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 1 - 15

Effect of Water Deficit on the Physiological and Morphological Characteristics of Mango (Mangifera indica) Rootstock Seedlings

E. Luvaha, G.W. Netondo and G. Ouma    

Abstract: Six month old Mango (Mangifera indica L.) rootstock seedlings were grown in 20 L plastic pots in a greenhouse at Maseno University, Kenya. to investigate the effect of water deficit on its morphological and physiological characteristics such as plant height, number of leaves, stem diameter and gas exchange characteristics and chlorophyll content, respectively. A Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with four treatments and six replications was used. The treatments involved subjecting the rootstock seedlings to four different irrigation regimes namely watering daily, twice in a week, once in a week and once in two weeks. The measurements were taken after every two weeks for a period of three months. At the end of the experiment, destructive sampling to establish the root to shoot ratio were taken. The soil moisture content under the different irrigation regimes was also determined gravimetrically. Growth parameters increased under mild water stress except under extreme water deficit where there was wilting. Root to shoot ratio increased with increasing water deficit. Increase in water deficit reduced the gas exchange parameters but slightly increased chlorophyll content. It is concluded that water deficit significantly (p≤0.05) affects physiological and morphological characteristics of Mango.

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