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Nitrogen deficiency effects on plant growth, leaf photosynthesis, and hyperspectral reflectance properties of sorghum

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An experiment was conducted under outdoor pot-culture conditions to determine effects of nitrogen (N) deficiency on sorghum growth, physiology, and leaf hyperspectral reflectance properties. Sorghum (cv. DK 44C) was seeded in 360 twelve-litre pots filled with fine sand. All pots were irrigated with half-strength Hoagland's nutrient solution from emergence to 25 days after sowing (DAS). Thereafter, pots were separated into three identical groups and the following treatments were initiated: (1) the control (100% N) continued receiving the half-strength nutrient solution; (2) reduced N to 20% of the control (20% N); and (3) withheld N from the solution (0% N). Photosynthetic rate (Pn), chlorophyll (Chl) and N concentrations, and hyperspectral reflectance of the uppermost, fully expanded leaves were determined at 3- to 4-day-interval from 21 to 58 DAS during the N treatments. Plants were harvested 58 DAS to determine effects of N deficiency on leaf area (LA), biomass accumulation, and partitioning. Nitrogen deficiency significantly reduced LA, leaf Chl content and Pn, resulting in lower biomass production. Decreased leaf Pn due to N deficiency was mainly associated with lower stomatal conductance rather than carboxylation capacity of leaf chemistry. Among plant components of dry weights, leaf dry weight had the greatest and root dry weight had the smallest decrease under N deficiency. Nitrogen-deficit stress mainly increased leaf reflectance at 555 (R555) and 715 nm (R715) and caused a red-edge shift to shorter wavelength. Leaf N and Chl concentrations were linearly correlated with not only the reflectance ratios of R405/R715 (r2 = 0.68***) and R1075/R735 (r2 = 0.64***), respectively, but also the first derivatives of the reflectance (dR/dlambda) in red edge centered 730 or 740 nm (r2 = 0.73-0.82***). These specific reflectance ratios or dR/dlambda may be used for rapid and non-destructive estimation of sorghum leaf Chl and plant N status.
Zhao, D. , Reddy, K.R. , Kakani, V.G. , Reddy, V.R.
Includes references
European journal of agronomy 2005 May, v. 22, no. 4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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