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Root characteristics of individual tillers and the relationships with above-ground growth and dry matter accumulation in sugarcane

Jidapa Khonghintaisong, Patcharin Songsri and Nuntawoot Jongrungklang


The expansion of sugarcane production areas is limited, therefore, the improvement of yield components of sugarcane might be a strategy to enhance cane production. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify the relationship between roots in each tiller and their above-ground parts during the tillering phases. This research was carried out at the Agronomy Research Station in Khon Kaen University, Thailand, using a completely randomized design with four replications. Six sugarcane cultivars, namely KK3, KPS01-12, KKU99-02, KKU99-03, UT12 and UT13, with different drought resistance levels, were assigned as treatments. Above-ground growth traits such as height and tiller number were collected at 100-175 days after planting as intervals of 15 days. Leaf dry weight, stalk dry weight and biomass were measured at 175 days after planting. Root traits, i.e. root/shoot ratio, root surface area, root length, root volume, and root number were observed at 175 days after planting. The number of roots from the main to the seventh tillers of six sugarcane cultivars followed a tiller order; all root traits were highest in the main tiller. In some cultivars, root length followed the order (from high to low) of the tiller sequence. There was a positive correlation between the sum of the roots in all tillers per hill and shoot dry weight. In terms of root traits of individual tillers, for almost all cultivars, root volume, root surface area, root length, and root number were positively correlated with biomass and stalk dry weight, except for genotype KK3. These root characteristics can potentially be used as criteria to assess shoot performance. In contrast, the root to shoot ratio may not be an appropriate characteristic to assess shoot growth, and the root dry weight varied between cultivars.  

To Cite this article: Khonghintaisong, K., P. Songsri and N. Jongrungklang. 2020. Root characteristics of individual tillers and the relationships with above-ground growth and dry matter accumulation in sugarcane. Pak. J. Bot., 52(1): DOI:

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