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Effects of Limited Irrigation on Growth and Grain Yield of Common Bean



K. Ghassemi-Golezani and R.A. Mardfar
 
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ABSTRACT

Water resources are limited in many agricultural areas of West Asia. So, effective use of this scarce resource is very important in this region. Therefore, this research was conducted in 2004 at the Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Iran, to investigate the effects of different irrigation regimes (I1, I2 and I3: irrigation after 60, 80 and 100 mm evaporation from class A pan, respectively) on growth, yield and yield components of three common bean cultivars (COS16, Talash and Khomain). A split-plot experiment based on randomized complete block design in three replications was used, with the irrigation levels in main plots and common bean cultivars in subplots. The results of plant growth analysis on the basis of Growth Degree Days (GDD) showed that Percentage Ground Cover (PGC), Dry Matter Accumulation (DMA), Crop Growth Rate (CGR) and Relative Growth Rate (RGR) were considerably reduced, due to water deficit. In all cultivars, the highest PGC, DMA, CGR and RGR were obtained under I1. PGC at different stages of growth under I3 was much less than that under I1. PGC for Talash was more than that for other cultivars under I3.. CGR of COS16 under well-irrigation (I1) was more than that of other cultivars, but CGR of Talash and COS16 under I3 was almost similar at different stages of growth. All three cultivars had higher RGR at early stages of growth under I1, compared to I2 and I3. However, this difference gradually decreased with increasing degree days. PGC had the practical advantage of easy, quick and non- destructive measurement. Therefore, it can be used as the best growth index for estimating crop performance in the field. Although, mean grain weight of Khomain was more than that of two other cultivars, but Talash and COS16 produced more pods and grains per plant, leading to higher yield per unit area, compared to Khomain. Drought stress led to the reduction of number of pods per plant, grains per plant and grain yield per unit area. However, differences in 1000 grains weight among I1, I2 and I3 were not significant. Yield reduction under limited irrigations was only 9.45-16.5%. These results indicate that limited irrigation can considerably overcome the deleterious effects of drought stress on field performance of common bean.

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  How to cite this article:

K. Ghassemi-Golezani and R.A. Mardfar, 2008. Effects of Limited Irrigation on Growth and Grain Yield of Common Bean. Journal of Plant Sciences, 3: 230-235.

DOI: 10.3923/jps.2008.230.235

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=jps.2008.230.235

INTRODUCTION

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the centerpiece of the daily diet for more than 300 million of the world’s people. This crop is the world’s most important food legume, far more than chickpeas, faba beans, lentils and cowpea. Nutritionist characterizes the common bean as a nearly perfect food because of its high protein content and generous amount of fiber, complex carbohydrates and other dietary necessities (Anonymous, 2001).

Drought stress is a worldwide production constraint of bean crop (Wortmann et al., 1998). The effect of drought can vary when it occurs during different stages of plant development. In general, drought has the greatest impact on bean seed yield when it occurs during reproductive development. Morphological and phenological traits such as plant type, root systems and early flowering play a major role in adaptation of plants to specific drought conditions.

Moderate to high drought stress can reduce biomass, number of pods and seeds, days to maturity, harvest index, seed yield and seed weight in common bean (Acosta-Gallegos and Adams, 1991; Ramirez-Vallejo and Kelly, 1998). A moderate drought stress has reduced yield by 41% (Foster et al., 1995). However, severe drought stress has reduced yield by 92% (Castellanos et al., 1996). In general, the lack of water interferes with the normal metabolism of the plant during flowering and grain filling, as these are stages when drought causes the greatest yield reduction.

Although common bean is considered a sensitive crop to water deficit (Molina et al., 2001; Szilagyi, 2003; Nunez-Barrios et al., 2005; Munoz-Perea et al., 2006), but limited irrigation, particularly at reproductive stages, may prevent substantial yield loss under drought stress (Singh, 1995; Pimentel et al., 1999; Costa-Franca et al., 2000). Also, regulation of limited irrigation to adequately meet the crop needs at the critical stages of growth and development is crucial for realization of yield potential of common bean cultivars in the field. Therefore, the objective of this investigation is to evaluate field performance of common bean cultivars under well and limited irrigation conditions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This research was conducted in 2004 at the Research Farm of Tabriz University, Tabriz, Iran (Lat. 38°05┤ N, 46°17┤ E, Altitude 1360 m above sea level). Tabriz is located in the North-west of Iran and has a mean annual temperature of 10°C and mean annual precipitation of 245.75 mm. The soil of research area was sandy-loam with EC of 0.68 dS m-1, pH of 8.1 and field capacity of 28.8%.

This experiment was split-plot, based on randomized complete block design in 3 replications with the irrigation treatments (I1, I2, I3: Irrigation after 60, 80 and 100 mm evaporation from class A pan, respectively) in main plots and cultivars (COS16, Talash and Khomain) in sub plots. The seeds were treated with 2 g kg-1 Mancozeb and then were sown by hand on 24 May 2004 in 5 cm depth of soil. At the same time, plots were fertilized with 100 kg ha-1 Ammonium Phosphate. Each plot size was 24 m2 and consisted of 12 rows of 6 m length, spaced 30 cm apart. All plots were irrigated immediately after sowing, but subsequent irrigations were carried out according to the treatments. Hand weeding of the experimental area was done as and when required.

Ground cover was measured every week by viewing the canopy through a wooden frame (60x100 cm dimensions) divided into 100 equal sections. The sections were counted when more than half filled with crop green area. After seedling establishment, 3 plants were harvested from each plot in weekly intervals, up to crop maturity. Harvested plants were dried in an oven adjusted on 75°C for 48 h.

Excel software was used to find the best mathematical model, to describe the relationship between Dry Matter Accumulation (DMA) and Growing Degree Days (GDD). The best fit was obtained, using the following equation:

(1)

Where:

H = Accumulated growth degree days
a, b, c and d =

Constants

Following equations were used to calculate CGR and RGR:

(2)

(3)

At maturity, three plants from each plot were harvested to determine pod length, pods per plant, grains per plant, grains per pod and 1000 grains weight. Finally, plants in 2 m2 of each plot were harvested and grains detached from the pods and then grain yield per unit area was recorded.

Analysis of variance of the data was carried out, using SAS (1996). Duncan test was applied to compare means of each trait at 5% probability. Excel software was used to draw figures.

RESULTS

Dry Matter Accumulation (DMA) of the common bean cultivars under different irrigation regimes at the early stages of growth was slow, but then showed a linear increase between 500 to 1150 GDD and then at later stages of growth again slowed down (Fig. 1). DMA of COS16 under I1 was better than that of Talash and Khomain, but DMA of all cultivars under I2 and I3 was almost similar. In general, the highest and the lowest DMA obtained form plants under I1 and I3, respectively (Fig. 1).

CGR of the cultivars under all irrigation treatments primarily increased, until maximum value was attained and then gradually decreased, with increasing GDD (Fig. 2). Maximum CGR of each cultivar under I3 was obtained earlier than that under I1 and I2. CGR of plants substantially reduced, due to water deficit (I3), compared to well-watering (Fig. 2).

RGR of the common bean cultivars under all watering conditions decreased with increasing GDD (Fig. 3). This reduction was very rapid at the early stages of growth and slowed down at the later stages of growth. RGR reduction at the early stages of growth was much faster for I1 and I2 treatments, compared to I3 treatment (Fig. 3).

Fig. 1: Dry Matter Accumulation (DMA) of COS16, Talash and Khomain under I1 and I3(Irrigation after 60, 80 and 100 mm evaporation from class A pan, respectively)

Fig. 2: Crop growth rate of COS16, Talash and Khomain under I1

Fig. 3: Relative growth rate of COS16, Talash and Khomain under I1

Fig. 4: Average percentage ground cover of COS16, Talash and Khomain under I1 and I3

Table 1: Analysis of variance of the data for yield and yield components of common bean cultivars, affected by irrigation regimes
*, **: Significant at p≤0.01 and p≤0.05, respectively

At the most stages of growth, the highest PGC was obtained under I1, followed by I2 and I3, respectively (Fig. 4). These differences were more evident for Talash than for other cultivars. PGC increased with increasing GDD up to about 920-1050, depending on cultivar and irrigation regime. After that, PGC of cultivars decreased. This reduction for plants under I3 started earlier, compared to those under I1 and I2 (Fig. 4).

Analysis of variance of the data for yield and yield components (Table 1) showed that pods per plant, grains per plant and grain yield per unit area were significantly affected by irrigation and cultivar, but 1000 grains weight only affected by cultivar. Neither irrigation nor cultivar had significant effect on grains per pod. No significant irrigationxcultivar interaction was observed on yield and yield components (Table 1).

Although, pods and grains per plant were comparatively higher for COS16, but the largest grains produced by Khomain. The highest and the lowest grain yield per unit area were obtained from COS16 and Khomain, respectively.

Table 2: Comparison of means of the yield and yield components of common bean for three irrigation regimes and three cultivars
Different letter(s) indicating significant difference at p≤0.05, I1, I2 and I3: irrigation after 60, 80 and 100 mm evaporation from class A pan, respectively

However, difference in grain yield between COS16 and Talash was not statistically significant (Table 2). Mean number of pods per plant, grains per plant and grain yield per unit area under well-watered condition (I1) were higher than those under limited irrigations (I2 and I3). These traits were almost similar for I2 and I3 treatments (Table 2).

DISCUSSION

Limitation in water resources and increasing demands to water supply, leading to rational use of these valuable resources in agriculture, without adverse effect on crop production. Common bean has a shallow rooting system and require frequent irrigations (Weaver et al., 1984). Therefore, this crop may respond strongly to water deficit (White and Singh, 1991; Nielsen and Nelson, 1998; Ramirez-Vallejo and Kelly, 1998; Teran and Singh, 2002; Nunez-Barrios et al., 2005; Munoz-Perea et al., 2006). In this research, limited irrigation led to reductions in DMA, CGR, RGR and consequently PGC of common bean cultivars (Fig. 1-4). Since, there is a linear relationship between PGC and light interception (Burstall and Harris, 1983), it is reliable to use this growth index to estimate yield potential of the crops under favorable or unfavorable conditions. It has, also, the practical advantage of quick, simple and non-destructive measurements, which makes frequent sampling available.

Although mean grain weight of COS 16 and Talash was lower than that of Khomain, but they produced more pods and grains per plant, leading to higher grain yield (Table 2). Nielsen and Nelson (1998) also showed that the yield component with the highest correlation to grain yield of black bean is number of pods per plant. Szilagyi (2003) reported that reduction of grain yield for common bean under drought stress was mainly due to reduction in number of pods per plant. Therefore, number of pods or grains per plant is the main component in determining yield potential of common bean cultivars in the field. No significant cultivar x irrigation interaction (Table 1) indicates that COS 16 and Talash were superior both under well and limited irrigation conditions.

Superiorities of well-watered (I1) plants in growth indices and PGC resulted in production of more pods and grains per plant and finally higher grain yield per unit area, compared to limited irrigations (I2 and I3). These traits significantly reduced, due to water deficit. However, 1000 grains weight was similar for well and limited irrigations. Yield reduction under limited irrigations was only 9.45-16.5% (Table 2). These reductions were much less than those reported by Foster et al. (1995) and Castellanos et al. (1996) for common bean. Reductions in grain yield and yield components of common bean under mild water stress are also reported by other authors (Acosta-Gallegos and Kohashi Shibata, 1989; Acosta-Gallegos and Adams, 1991; Ramirez-Vallejo and Kelly, 1998).

CONCLUSION

Common bean is a sensitive crop to water stress and high yield of this crop only can be obtained under sufficient irrigation conditions. Nevertheless, limited irrigation can considerably overcome the deleterious effects of drought stress on field performance of common bean. Percentage ground cover and number of grains per plant are the most important traits for estimating yield potential of common bean cultivars under both well and limited irrigation conditions.

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