The effect of root damage caused by simulated white grub attack on the growth, yield and water-use of groundnut plants

Wightman, J A and Brier, H B and Wright, G C (1994) The effect of root damage caused by simulated white grub attack on the growth, yield and water-use of groundnut plants. Plant and Soil, 160 (2). pp. 267-275.

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White grubs (larval scarabaeids) are now recognized as being important pests of groundnut (peanut) in many parts of the world because of their ability to damage roots. A method of simulating white grub damage to groundnut plants was developed to obtain an indication of how the feeding activity of these insects influences plant growth. The effect of root cutting and drought stress on water uptake and biomass production was evaluated, with roots being cut at three depths in the late vegetative and early podfilling stages. As groundnut plants are often grown under conditions of drought stress, the effects of which would be accentuated by root damage, this factor was introduced into the experiment. Plant water-use measurements indicated that the root systems of plants cut 30 days after emergence (DAE) and watered twice a week became fully functional again after 40 days. Pod and total biomass production were however significantly less than those of the uncut control plants, with drought stress reducing yields below the well-watered controls, particularly when cut at 10 cm below the soil surface. The root systems of plants cut 51 DAE did not regrow to any appreciable extent, and rates of plant water-use remained less than half of the uncut control plants. Over all treatments, there was a strong positive correlation between total (and pod) biomass and plant water-use. It was concluded that the phenological stage of the plant at which root damage occurred had a profound influence on the subsequent recovery in root growth and function, and ultimately on pod yield.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Groundnut
Depositing User: Mr Charan Sai Ch
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2011 07:59
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 07:59
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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