The Effect of Water Stress and Polymer on Water Use Efficiency, Yield and several Morphological Traits of Sunflower under Greenhouse Condition
In many part of Iran, the reproductive growth stages of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) are exposed to water deficit stress. Therefore, the investigation of irrigation management in the farm conditions is a necessary element for increasing irrigation efficiency and decreasing water losses. The objective of present study was to investigate the effect of different rates of super absorbent polymer and levels of water stress on water use efficiency (WUE), yield and some morphological traits of sunflower (cultivar ‘Master’). Factorial experiment was carried out in completely randomized design with 3 replications. Factors were water stress in three levels (irrigation in 0.75; 0.50 and 0.25% of field capacity) and super absorbent polymer in five levels (0; 0.75; 0.150; 2.25; 3 g/kg of soil). Super absorbent polymer was added in eight leaves stage of sunflower to pots in deepness of roots development. Water stress treatment was also applied in this growth stage of sunflower. For stress application, pots were weighted every day and irrigated when soil water received to 0.75; 0.50 and 0.25 of field capacity, respectively. The results of ANOVA indicated that the effect of different rates of super absorbent polymer and different rates of consumed water in all traits were significant. ANOVA also revealed that the interactive effects of two mentioned factors were significant except for seed yield trait. Polynomial model based on the ANOVA results was fitted for each trait. The results indicated that water stress significantly convert in decreasing the number of leaves per plant, chlorophyll content, 100 weight of seeds, seed yield and WUE in sunflower, whereas the application of super absorbent polymer moderated the negative effect of deficit irrigation, especially in high rates of polymer (2.25 and 3 g/kg of soil). The above mentioned rates of polymer have the best effect to all characteristics of sunflower in all levels of water stress treatment. The findings strongly suggest that the irrigation period of sunflower cultivation can be increased by application of polymer.
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