Ten-day-old seedlings of four cowpea (Vigna unguiculata Walp) genotypes were subjected to six levels of aluminum (Al) (0, 74, 148, 222, 296, and 370 μM/L) to test their tolerance to Al toxicity in a nutrient solution at pH 4,0±0.1. Seedlings were grown in the presence of Al under controlled environmental conditions in a growth chamber. The nutrient solutions were replenished once a week. After 20 days, treatments were terminated and the differences in their growth patterns were compared. Standard growth parameters, such as plant growth, dry matter production, relative growth reduction in roots (RGRS) and shoots (RGRS), and root and shoot tolerance indices (RTI and STI) have been used as markers of Al toxicity. The cowpea genotypes studied exhibited a wide range of responses in their tolerance to Al. Though the genotypes were subjected to six levels of Al, a good degree of separation in their responses was observed only at the 222 μM Al/L treatment level. Therefore, this concentration was chosen to treat and compare the performances of the genotypes. The genotype Co 3 showed an increase in growth, while Paiyur 1 and other genotypes showed severe inhibitions in the presence of Al. Furthermore, for RTI and STI, Co 3 also registered its tolerance to Al by showing increased ratios in the presence of Al. Whereas, Paiyur 1 recorded severe reductions. The RGRR and RGRS data also substantiates this finding. Based on the growth parameters, the four cowpea genotypes were ranked based on their tolerance to Al: Co 3 > Co 4 > KM > Paiyur 1. Co 3 was the most Al-tolerant genotype which performed extremely well in the presence of Al, while Paiyur lwas the most Al-susceptible genotype. Therefore, the Al-tolerant genotype can be used for future breeding programmes to produce Al-tolerant genotypes, subsequently, can be recommended for acidic infertile soils in the tropics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science