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Genotypic covariations of traits underlying sorghum stem biomass production and quality and their regulations by water availability: Insight from studies at organ and tissue levels

Luquet D., Perrier L., Clément-Vidal A., Jaffuel S., Verdeil J.L., Roques S., Soutiras A., Baptiste C., Fabre D., Bastianelli D., Bonnal L., Sartre P., Rouan L., Pot D.. 2019. Global Change Biology. Bioenergy, 11 (2) : p. 442-462.

Sweet and biomass sorghum are expected to contribute increasingly to bioenergy production. Better understanding the impacts of the genotypic and environmental variabilities on biomass component traits and their properties is essential to optimize energy yields. This study aimed to evaluate whether traits contributing to stem biomass growth and biochemical composition at different biological scales (co)vary with the genotype and the water status in sorghum. Height genotypes were studied over two years in field conditions in southern France under two water treatments (well watered vs. 25 days' dry down during stem elongation). Main stem internode number, size, (non)structural carbohydrate, and lignin contents were measured at the end of the stress period and/or at final harvest, together with biochemical and histological analyses of the youngest expanded internode. The tallest genotypes showed the highest stem dry weights and lignin contents. Stem (structural) biomass density was positively correlated with lignin content, particularly in internode parenchyma. Stem soluble sugar and lignin contents were inversely proportional across genotypes and water conditions. Genotypes contrasted for drought sensitivity and recovery capacity of stem growth and biochemical composition. The length and cell wall deposition of internodes expanding under water deficit were reduced and did not recover, these responses being weakly correlated. Genotypic variability was pointed out in the growth recovery of internodes expanding under re-watered conditions. According to the observed genotypic variability and the absence of antagonistic correlations between the responses of the different traits to water availability, it is suggested that biomass sorghum varieties optimizing their responses to water availability in terms of growth and cell wall deposition can be developed for different bioenergy targets.

Mots-clés : variation génétique; tige; croissance; sorgho

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des plantes; Physiologie végétale - Croissance et développement

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