Assessment of Drought Tolerance of Miscanthus Genotypes through Dry-Down Treatment and Fixed-Soil-Moisture-Content Techniques

Tzu-Ya Weng, Taiken Nakashima, Antonio Villanueva-Morales, J. Ryan Stewart, Erik J. Sacks, Toshihiko Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Miscanthus, a high-yielding, warm-season C4 grass, shows promise as a potential bioenergy crop in temperate regions. However, drought may restrain productivity of most genotypes. In this study, total 29 Miscanthus genotypes of East-Asian origin were screened for drought tolerance with two methods, a dry-down treatment in two locations and a system where soil moisture content (SMC) was maintained at fixed levels using an automatic irrigation system in one location. One genotype, Miscanthus sinensis PMS-285, showed relatively high drought-tolerance capacity under moderate drought stress. Miscanthus sinensis PMS-285, aligned with the M. sinensis ‘Yangtze-Qinling’ genetic cluster, had relatively high principal component analysis ranking values in both two locations experiments, Hokkaido University and Brigham Young University. Genotypes derived from the ‘Yangtze-Qinling’ genetic cluster showed relatively greater photosynthetic performance than other genetic clusters, suggesting germplasm from this group could be a potential source of drought-tolerant plant material. Diploid genotypes showed stronger drought tolerance than tetraploid genotypes, suggesting ploidy could be an influential factor for this trait. Of the two methods, the dry-down treatment appears more suitable for selecting drought-tolerant genotypes given that it reflects water-stress conditions in the field. However, the fixed-SMC experiment may be good for understanding the physiological responses of plants to relatively constant water-stress levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Automated irrigation control
  • Bioenergy crops
  • Drought tolerance
  • Miscanthus spp
  • Photosynthetic parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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