EFFECTIVENESS OF RELATIVE WATER CONTENT AS A SIMPLE FARMER’S TOOL TO DETERMINE PLANT WATER DEFICIT
Keywords:cabbage, water stress, growth, relative water content, yields
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.) is a botanically and commercially important vegetable cultivated all year round in the tropics. Although cabbages are easily grown under a wide variety of conditions and are adaptable to most climatic conditions, successful cultivation of this crop is hampered by incidences of water stress. To produce quality acceptable heads that are marketable, supply of right amount of water is paramount. To monitor whether the plants are getting enough amount of water there is need to use a reliable, simple, and indicative method. Relative water content has been proposed as a simple tool that could be employed with ease and precision by a farmer. To test the effectiveness of Relative Water Content (RWC) as a simple farmers friendly parameter, cabbage variety Pruktor and Michel F1 (potted) were subjected to four treatments in two seasons. The treatments were: 0%, 25%, 50% and 100% of soil field capacity arranged in a complete randomised design. Samples to determine RWC were collected in three day intervals. Water stress did not affect head formation but decreased growth, leaf area, head size, and total yield. In both experiments, yellowing and selective shedding of leaves was observed mostly in 0% and 25% treatment. Relative water content declined significantly with day after treatment and decreasing water supply. Among the control, plants with lower RWC had smaller head compared with those of relatively higher RWC. This indicates RWC as a simple parameter that could be used to monitor water status of the plant during growth to enhance production of good quality marketable head and maintain crop yield.
Export Processing Zone Authority. 2005. Horticulture Industry in Kenya. Nairobi.
González, Luis, and Marco González-Vilar. 2001. Determination of Relative Water Content. In Handbook of Plant Ecophysiology Techniques, 207–212.
Habash, Dimah Z. et al. 2014. Systems Responses to Progressive Water Stress in Durum Wheat. PLoS ONE 9(9): e108431. http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0108431.
Jahangir, Muhammad. 2010. Stress Response and Health Affecting Compounds in Brassicaceae. Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Mattson, W J, and Robert A Haack. 1987. The Role of Drought in Outbreaks of Plant-Eating Insects.” BioScience 37(December 1987): 110–118.
Munné-Bosch, Sergi, and Leonor Alegre. 2004. “Die and Let Live: Leaf Senescence Contributes to Plant Survival under Drought Stress.” Functional Plant Biology 31(3): 203–216.
Nicotra, a B et al. 2010. Plant Phenotypic Plasticity in a Changing Climate. Trends in plant science 15(12): 684–692.
Potopová, V. et al. 2016. Drought Stress Impact on Vegetable Crop Yields in the Elbe River Lowland between 1961 and 2014.cIG 42(1): 127–43.
Raiola, Assunta et al. 2018. Bioactive Compounds in Brassicaceae Vegetables with a Role in the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Molecules 23(15): 1–10.
Richardson, Andrew D. et al. 2013. Climate Change, Phenology, and Phenological Control of Vegetation Feedbacks to the Climate System. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 169: 156–173.
Stagnari, Fabio, Angelica Galieni, and Michele Pisante. 2016. Drought Stress Effects on Crop Quality. In Water Stress and Crop Plants: A Sustainable Approach, ed. Parvaiz Ahmad. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 375–392.
Tangney, Christy, and Heather E. Rasmussen. 2013. Polyphenols, Inflammation, and Cardiovascular Disease.current atheroscler Rep. 15(5): 1–16.
Team, R Development Core. 2014. R?: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R.3.1.1. ed. R Development Core Team. R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
Verslues, Paul E et al. 2006. “Methods and Concepts in Quantifying Resistance to Drought, Salt and Freezing, Abiotic Stresses That Affect Plant Water Status.” The Plant journal 45(4): 523–539.
Wanjiku, James Gacheru, and Heike Bohne. 2017. Growth and Drought Responses of Three Prunus Spinosa L. Ecotypes.” Afr. J. Hort. Sci 12: 40–50.
Winch, Tony. 2006. Growing Food: A Guide to Food Production. Springer Netherlands.
Xu, C., and D. I. Leskovar. 2014. Growth, Physiology and Yield Responses of Cabbage to Deficit Irrigation. Horticultural Science 41(3): 138–146.
How to Cite
Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal. Thus, copyright for material accepted for publication will transfer to the publisher of AJHS journal.