International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research
Vol.3 (4), pp. 165-171, April 2015
Available online at https://www.journalissues.org/IJAPR/
Article 14/ID/JPR222/07 pages
Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.
Original Research Article
Screening and evaluation of cotton germplasm in Zambia for tolerance to water stress
*Nchimunya Bbebe and Wiza Mphande
Mulungushi University, School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Zambia.
*Corresponding Author Email: bnchimunya(at)mu.ac.zm
Forty cotton genotypes of varied origin were subjected to controlled moisture stress in a rainout shelter at Magoye (16°S, 27.6°E) in Zambia with the major objective being identification of moisture tolerant genotypes. Two experiments were used for this purpose; the box and pot experiments. Genotypes with favourable performance under the rain-out shelter were selected for further evaluation under field conditions in six locations during the rainy season. The genotypes in the trials exhibited varying responses to water stress. Significant variation (p>0.10) was observed among trial genotypes for seedling wilting, seedling survivability after stress, canopy temperature and plant tissue moisture content after stress. CAM 26 was the most consistent and high performing cotton genotype in the rainout shelter with mean survival after stress of 84%. Multilocation evaluation revealed considerable variation in field performance among trial genotypes. SRG 06 emerged as the most consistent genotype with the highest seed cotton yield in low rainfall (<500mm) test environments and considerably high yields in high rainfall (>500mm) test environments. Subject to further evaluation for performance in fibre quality parameters, SRG 06 is the most suitable genotype for cultivation in low rainfall production environments in Zambia. CAM 26 is recommended for use in cotton breeding programmes as a source of genes for moisture stress tolerance.
Key words: Stress tolerance, drought, cotton, canopy temperatures, seedling survivability.