Effect of Polyacrylamide (P4) on Growth, Yield and Yield Components of Chick pea Under Drought Conditions

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Al-Gosaibi, A.M.
AL-Tahir, O.A
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Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Shambat, Sudan
A potometer experiment was conducted in a greenhouse at King Faisal University Experimental Station, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia, for two seasons (1995/96 and 1996/97) to investigate the effect of gel-forming soil conditioner Polyacrylamide (P4) on growth, yield and yield components of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) grown under drought conditions. Chickpea was established on calcareous sandy soil mixed with P4 and subjected to two soil moisture regimes promoting droughted and "well-watered" (control) plant growth. The use of P4 with high amount of irrigation water reduced the number and dry weight of nodules/plant compared to the control treatment. High soil water content reduced the harvest index as a result of excessive vegetative growth at the expense of pod formation. The number of pods/m2 and the number of seeds/pod were reduced as the volume of irrigation water was reduced, and the reductions were significantly greater in No P4 than P4. Plants in both soil media responded similarly at the driest treatment and gave significantly fewer pods/m2 and seeds/pod. Compensation in seed weight occurred in some cases when seed number had been reduced. However, chickpea yields reductions averaged 54.7% and 35.5% in wet soil No P4 and P4, respectively. Average yield of droughted chickpea in P4 potometers was 1.35% greater than yields in potometers with No P4.
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