Physiological and Biochemical Responses of Forage Grass Varieties to Mild Drought Stress Under Field Conditions

A. Fariaszewska, J. Aper, J. Van Huylenbroeck, T. De Swaef, J. Baert, L. Pecio

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


In view of the expected increase in drought periods, researchers and breeders are searching for forage grasses that are more tolerant to drought stress. This study wanted to examine the physiological and biochemical reactions of nine forage grass varieties belonging to Festuca, Lolium and Festulolium under mild drought stress conditions in a semi-controlled field experiment. A mild drought stress treatment was applied in the period between cut II and cut III using three large mobile rain-out shelters equipped with sprinkler irrigation systems. The experiment consisted of two soil moisture treatments: (1) control where a soil moisture level of around 20% v/v was maintained and (2) drought stress where the soil moisture level decreased to 7.5% v/v. The experiment was cut 5 times in 2014 and 4 times in 2015. A total of nine varieties from five species of forage grasses were evaluated: L. perenne, L. multiflorum, F. pratensis, F. arundinacea and F. braunii. Dry matter yield, gas exchange parameters and chlorophyll fluorescence were significantly lower in drought stress than under control conditions and the physiological parameters reacted within 2 weeks after the start of the drought treatment in all species. In contrast, drought stress significantly increased water use efficiency, the content of proline, phenolic acids, flavonoids, water soluble carbohydrates and decreased neutral and acid detergent fibre on both years. Based on total dry matter yield and tolerance indices the most drought tolerant species were L. multiflorum in the first and F. arundinacea in the second investigated year.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
Pagina's (van-tot)335-353
Aantal pagina’s19
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 22-jan.-2020


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