Hydroponics: An Alternative Method for Root and Shoot Classification on Sugarcane Genotypes

Chanoknat Chapae, Patcharin Songsri, Nuntawoot Jongrungklang


A hydroponic system was considered to be an appropriate method for root investigations, particularly if the method can be established as a screening technique to classify differences in root traits among sugarcane lines. The aim of the research was to classify root and shoot characters of sugarcane lines grown under hydroponic conditions and to investigate their correlation with the field measurements. Hydroponic and field tests used a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Eight elite sugarcane lines were assigned as treatments. Shoot and root traits were measured at 3 months after transplanting in the hydroponic experiment, and field trial measured root length density (RLD) at 4 months after planting. Root and shoot traits under the hydroponic system showed significant differences among sugarcane lines. KK3 had a high root surface area, root volume, root length and root dry weight and TBy27-1385 demonstrated a high stem height and stem dry mass. Moreover, root dry weight, root volume and root surface area positively correlated with shoot dry mass. Positive correlation was exhibited between root traits such as dry weight of root and root length derived from hydroponic studies and RLD derived from field conditions.


Shoot dry weight; Root surface area; Root volume; Root dry mass; Root length

Full Text:



Alatorre-Cobos, F., Calderón-Vázquez, C., Ibarra-Laclette, E., Yong-Villalobos, L., Pérez-Torres, C. A., Oropeza-Aburto, A., … Herrera-Estrella, L. (2014). An improved, low-cost, hydroponic system for growing Arabidopsis and other plant species under aseptic conditions. BMC Plant Biology, 14, 69. crossref

Ayalew, H., Ma, X., & Yan, G. (2015). Screening wheat (Triticum spp.) genotypes for root length under contrasting water regimes: Potential sources of variability for drought resistance breeding. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, 201(3), 189–194. crossref

Basnayake, J., Jackson, P. A., Inman-Bamber, N. G., & Lakshmanan, P. (2015). Sugarcane for water-limited environments. Variation in stomatal conductance and its genetic correlation with crop productivity. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66(13), 3945–3958. crossref

Chen, Y. L., Dunbabin, V. M., Diggle, A. J., Siddique, K. H. M., & Rengel, Z. (2011). Development of a novel semi-hydroponic phenotyping system for studying root architecture. Functional Plant Biology, 38(5), 355–363. crossref

da Silva, P. P., Soares, L., da Costa, J. G., da Silva Viana, L., de Andrade, J. C. F., Gonçalves, E. R., … Neto, C. E. R. (2012). Path analysis for selection of drought tolerant sugarcane genotypes through physiological components. Industrial Crops and Products, 37(1), 11–19. crossref

Endres, L., Silva, J. V., Ferreira, V. M., & De Souza Barbosa, G. V. (2010). Photosynthesis and water relations in Brazilian sugarcane. The Open Agriculture Journal, 4, 31–37. crossref

ETWWA. (2010). Improving water management in rainfed agriculture: Issues and options in water constrained production systems. Retrieved from pdf

FAO. (2018). Agricultural area. Retrieved from website

Ferreira, T. H. S., Tsunada, M. S., Bassi, D., Araújo, P., Mattiello, L., Guidelli, G. V., … Menossi, M. (2017). Sugarcane water stress tolerance mechanisms and its implications on developing biotechnology solutions. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, 1077. crossref

Genuncio, G. da C., Gomes, M., Ferrari, A. C., Majerowicz, N., & Zonta, E. (2012). Hydroponic lettuce production in different concentrations and flow rates of nutrient solution. Horticultura Brasileira, 30(3), 526–530. crossref

Girdthai, T., Jogloy, S., Kesmala, T., Vorasoot, N., Akkasaeng, C., Wongkaew, S., … Patanothai, A. (2010). Relationship between root characteristics of peanut in hydroponics and pot studies. Crop Science, 50(1), 159. crossref

Gomez, K. A., & Gomez, A. A. (1984). Statistical procedures for agricultural research (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Gregory, P. J. (2006). Plant roots: Growth, activity and interaction with soils. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. crossref

Henry, A. (2013). IRRI’s drought stress research in rice with emphasis on roots: accomplishments over the last 50 years. Plant Root, 7, 92–106. crossref

Inman-Bamber, N. G., Bonnett, G. D., Spillman, M. F., Hewitt, M. L., & Jackson, J. (2008). Increasing sucrose accumulation in sugarcane by manipulating leaf extension and photosynthesis with irrigation. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 59(1), 13–26. crossref

Jangpromma, N., Songsri, P., Thammasirirak, S., & Jaisil, P. (2010). Rapid assessment of chlorophyll content in sugarcane using a SPAD chlorophyll meter across different water stress conditions. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 9(6), 368–374. crossref

Jangpromma, Nisachon, Thammasirirak, S., Jaisil, P., & Songsri, P. (2012). Effects of drought and recovery from drought stress on above ground and root growth, and water use efficiency in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.). Australian Journal of Crop Science, 6(8), 1298–1304. Retrieved from pdf

Jongrungklang, N., Toomsan, B., Vorasoot, N., Jogloy, S., Boote, K. J., Hoogenboom, G., & Patanothai, A. (2011). Rooting traits of peanut genotypes with different yield responses to pre-flowering drought stress. Field Crops Research, 120(2), 262–270. crossref

Kano, M., Inukai, Y., Kitano, H., & Yamauchi, A. (2011). Root plasticity as the key root trait for adaptation to various intensities of drought stress in rice. Plant and Soil, 342(1–2), 117–128. crossref

Khonghintaisong, J., Songsri, P., Toomsan, B., & Jongrungklang, N. (2018). Rooting and physiological trait responses to early drought stress of sugarcane cultivars. Sugar Tech, 20(4), 396–406. crossref

Khruengpatee, J., Khonghintaisong, J., Songsri, P., & Jongrungklang, N. (2018). Root characteristics of sugarcane cuttings derived from different stalk parts and their relationships with plant growth. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 17(4), 204-212. crossref

Kooyers, N. J. (2015). The evolution of drought escape and avoidance in natural herbaceous populations. Plant Science, 234, 155–162. crossref

Machado, R. S., Ribeiro, R. V., Marchiori, P. E. R., Machado, D. F. S. P., Machado, E. C., & Landell, M. G. de A. (2009). Biometric and physiological responses to water deficit in sugarcane at different phenological stages. Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira, 44(12), 1575–1582. crossref

Madhav, T., Bindu, G., Kumar, M., & Naik, C. (2017). Study on root characteristics of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) genotypes for moisture stress. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, 18(5), 1–4. crossref

Mathieu, L., Lobet, G., Tocquin, P., & Périlleux, C. (2015). “Rhizoponics”: A novel hydroponic rhizotron for root system analyses on mature Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Plant Methods, 11, 3. crossref

Mian, M. A. R., Nafziger, E. D., Kolb, F. L., & Teyker, R. H. (1993). Root growth of wheat genotypes in hydroponic culture and in the greenhouse under different soil moisture regimes. Crop Science, 33(2), 283–286. crossref

OCSB. (2014). Sugarcane cultivars in Thailand. Office of the Cane and Sugar Board. Thailand: Khon Kaen Prints Ltd.

Ogbonnaya, C. I., Sarr, B., Brou, C., Diouf, O., Diop, N. N., & Roy-Macauley, H. (2003). Selection of cowpea genotypes in hydroponics, pots, and field for drought tolerance. Crop Science, 43(3), 1114–1120. crossref

Ohashi, A. Y. P., de Matos Pires, R. C., Ribeiro, R. V., & de Oliveira Silva, A. L. B. (2015). Root growth and distribution in sugarcane cultivars fertigated by a subsurface drip system. Bragantia, 74(2), 131–138. crossref

Ortiz, A., Rotatori, H., Schreiber, L., & von Roth, G. (2009). Hydroponic farming in Mahasarakham: Integrating hydroponics into the agricultural curriculum while promoting entrepreneurial skills. Worcester, USA. Retrieved from pdf

Rajkumar, S., & Ibrahim, S. M. (2014). In vitro hydroponic studies on root characters for drought resistance assessment in rice. American-Eurasian Journal Of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, 14(5), 396–400. Retrieved from pdf

Raziuddin, Swati, Z. A., Bakht, J., Farhatullah, Ullah, N., Shafi, M., … Hassan, G. (2010). In situ assessment of morpho-physiological response of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes to drought. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 42(5), 3183–3195. Retrieved from website

Robertson, M. J., Inman-Bamber, N. G., Muchow, R. C., & Wood, A. W. (1999). Physiology and productivity of sugarcane with early and mid-season water deficit. Field Crops Research, 64(3), 211–227. crossref

Robin, A. H. K., Uddin, M. J., & Bayazid, K. N. (2015). Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-treated hydroponic culture reduces length and diameter of root hairs of wheat varieties. Agronomy, 5(4), 506–518. crossref

Sanghera, G. S., Malhotra, P. K., Singh, H., & Bhatt, R. (2019). Climate change impact in sugarcane agriculture and mitigation strategies. In Harnessing Plant Biotechnology and Physiology to Stimulate Agricultural Growth (pp. 99-115). Retrieved from website

Singkham, N., Songsri, P., Jaisil, P., Jogloy, S., Klomsa-Ard, P., Jonglangklang, N., & Patanothai, A. (2016). Diversity of characteristics associated with lodging resistance in sugarcane germplasm. SABRAO Journal of Breeding and Genetics, 48(1), 97–104. Retrieved from pdf

Smit, M. A., & Singels, A. (2006). The response of sugarcane canopy development to water stress. Field Crops Research, 98(2–3), 91–97. crossref

Smith, D. M., Inman-Bamber, N. G., & Thorburn, P. J. (2005). Growth and function of the sugarcane root system. Field Crops Research, 92(2–3), 169–183. crossref

Smith, J. P., Lawn, R. J., & Nable, R. O. (1999). Investigations into the root:shoot relationship of sugarcane, and some implications for crop productivity in the presence of sub-optimal soil conditions. In Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (pp. 108–113). CRC for Sustainable Sugar Production. Retrieved from website

Tataranni, G., Sofo, A., Casucci, C., & Scopa, A. (2013). Different root growth patterns of tomato seedlings grown hydroponically under an electric field. Plant Root, 7, 28–32. crossref

Trejo-Téllez, L. I., & Gómez-Merino, F. C. (2012). Nutrient solutions for hydroponic systems. In Hydroponics - A Standard Methodology for Plant Biological Researches (pp. 1–22). London: InTech. crossref

Wagih, M. E., Ala, A., & Musa, Y. (2003). Biomass analysis and selection of sugarcane genotypes for drought tolerance. Sugar Tech, 5(4), 257–263. crossref

Wahome, P. K., Oseni, T. O., Masarirambi, M. T., & Shongwe, V. D. (2011). Effects of different hydroponics systems and growing media on the vegetative growth, yield and cut flower quality of gypsophila (Gypsophila paniculata L.). World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 7(6), 692–698. Retrieved from pdf

Zhao, D., & Li, Y.-R. (2015). Climate change and sugarcane production: Potential impact and mitigation strategies. International Journal of Agronomy, 2015(547386), 1–10. crossref

Zhao, D., Glaz, B., & Comstock, J. C. (2010). Sugarcane response to water-deficit stress during early growth on organic and sand soils. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 5(3), 403–414. crossref

DOI: http://doi.org/10.17503/agrivita.v41i2.2031


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.