Morphological characters as indicators of drought resistance in diverse sorghum varieties in the scrub savannah, Nigeria. (440)
Keywords:Drought resistance, Seed weight, Susceptibility, Germplasm, Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT)
AbstractField evaluation of 153 local and exotic sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] cultivars in the Nigerian scrub savannah revealed that certain of the cultivars showed resistance under water-deficit conditions. The effect of drought resistance was determined on easily observed morphological characters, namely, seedling vigour, time of flowering, days to maturity, plant height, flag leaf area, tillering capacity, leaf rolling and firing, seed colour, and 1000-seed weight. While seedling vigour, plant height and leaf rolling and firing showed significant (P < 0.01) correlation with 1000-seed weight, other characters did not. The possible role of these characters in the drought-resistance phenomenon and the possibility of combining these features with high yields are discussed. The need for immediate and thorough exploration of sorghum gene resources and their safe conservation is highlighted.