Chickpea and Lentil Varietal Response to Phosphorus Supply

Tekalign Mamo, Christian Richter


Studies were undertaken to investigate the responses of four varieties each of chickpea  (DZ-Local, Mariye, DZ-10-9-2 and DZ-10-16-2) and lentil (R-186. NEL-358. EL-142  and NEL-2704) to P application. Two of these varieties (DZ-Local and EL-142) are traditional or local varieties selected from the land race population where as all the rest  were recommendations based on genetic improvement. The P levels used in the studies  were 0. 0.05, 0.5 and 5mg P/100g sand applied in a nutrient solution.  Results showed that whereas chickpea varieties could survive P deficiency and grow  up to maturity, lentil varieties were adversely affected by P deficiency and the experiment had to be terminated after 4 weeks of growth. The better performance of chickpea  as compared to lentil under P deficiency conditions was attributed, besides other factors, to the initially higher P content of the seeds. In chickpea, data for plant parameters  and P uptake showed that the modern varieties were superior to the local or traditional  variety. In lentil, however, the traditional variety EL-142 was as good as the rest and  even better than variety R-186. In general, the maximum growth improvement was induced by the application of 0.5mg P/100g, and yield improvement with further application of P was lower. The  0.5mg P/100g application rate is roughly lower than the quantity of soil available P found in central highland Vertisols. where the majority of chickpea and lentil are grown in Ethiopia. It is therefore concluded that lack of response to P application on  these soils seems to be due to the adequacy of the soil available P to satisfy the growth  potentials of both crops, not mentioning that the crops have also other mechanisms to  further exploit sparingly soluble soil P.

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