Effect of Superabsorbent Polymer on Seedling Emergence and Growth of Cotton under Water Stress Conditions



Water availability is one of the major limiting factors of cotton productivity. The soil application of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) may increase water use efficiency, improve soil physical properties, enhance seed germination and emergence, crop growth and yield and reduce the irrigation requirements of plants. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of Zeba®, a polymer based on corn starch, on seedling emergence and growth of cotton under water stress. A set of pot experiments was conducted under completely randomized design with four replications of 25 seeds. Treatments included application rates of 5, 10, 15, 20 kg/ha and an untreated control, all under three levels of irrigation (adequate, moderate and deficit). The emergence performance was evaluated by final emergence percentage and mean emergence time. Root and shoot growth were measured for length and weight. The application of Zeba® promoted seedling emergence (higher emergence percentage from 17.9 to 22.6% and lower mean emergence time from 36 to 46% compared to control). Higher values for root and shoot traits were observed under Z10 and Z15 rates regardless of irrigation treatments. The adoption of the proposed SAP could represent a promising solution and thus increase moisture conservation in cotton.


Gossypium hirsutum; SAP; seedling emergence; water stress; Zeba.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/buasvmcn-hort:2020.0011

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