African Journal of
Biotechnology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12294

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of nitrogen and potassium fertilization on morpho-agronomic traits of three elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) genotypes for biomass production

Antonio Alonso Cecon Novo
  • Antonio Alonso Cecon Novo
  • Instituto Federal Fluminense, Campus Bom Jesus do Itabapoana RJ. Setor de Agropecuária. Postal Code: 28360-000,RJ, Brazil.
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Rogério Figueiredo Daher
  • Rogério Figueiredo Daher
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Laboratório de Engenharia Agrícola. Postal Code: 28013-600, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil.
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Geraldo de Amaral Gravina
  • Geraldo de Amaral Gravina
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Laboratório de Engenharia Agrícola. Postal Code: 28013-600, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil.
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Ernany Santos Costa
  • Ernany Santos Costa
  • Instituto Federal Fluminense, Campus Bom Jesus do Itabapoana RJ. Setor de Agropecuária. Postal Code: 28360-000,RJ, Brazil.
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Juares Ogliari
  • Juares Ogliari
  • Instituto Federal Fluminense, Campus Bom Jesus do Itabapoana RJ. Setor de Agropecuária. Postal Code: 28360-000,RJ, Brazil.
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Kleberson Cordeiro Araújo
  • Kleberson Cordeiro Araújo
  • Instituto Federal Fluminense, Campus Bom Jesus do Itabapoana RJ. Setor de Agropecuária. Postal Code: 28360-000,RJ, Brazil.
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Bruna Rafaela da Silva Menezes
  • Bruna Rafaela da Silva Menezes
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Laboratório de Engenharia Agrícola. Postal Code: 28013-600, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil.
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Niraldo José Ponciano
  • Niraldo José Ponciano
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Laboratório de Engenharia Agrícola. Postal Code: 28013-600, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil.
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Érik da Silva Oliveira
  • Érik da Silva Oliveira
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Laboratório de Engenharia Agrícola. Postal Code: 28013-600, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil.
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Verônica Britos Silva
  • Verônica Britos Silva
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), Laboratório de Engenharia Agrícola. Postal Code: 28013-600, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil.
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  •  Received: 16 August 2016
  •  Accepted: 26 September 2016
  •  Published: 26 October 2016

Abstract

Elephant grass has been proposed for the energy sector as a possible source of renewable energy, because of its high biomass production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the mineral nutrients nitrogen and potassium on the morpho-agronomic traits (dry mater yield (DMY), percentage of DM (%DM), number of tillers per linear meter (NT), plant height (PH), stem diameter (SD) and leaf blade width (LW)) in different elephant grass genotypes in a randomized-block experimental treatment in a split-plot arrangement with three replications, in which the genotype factor (‘Cuban Pinda’ - G1; ‘IAC Campinas’ - G2; and ‘Cameroon’ - G3) was randomized in the plot, and the N and K factor was randomized in the sub-plot. The increase in nitrogen and potassium doses utilized influenced very little or almost did not influence the response of the three genotypes for the different morpho-agronomic traits assessed. The three genotypes had high number of tillers, height, and stem diameter at the lowest N and K doses, demonstrating a possible trend of high doses not providing a highly significant increase in these traits. The study of DMY showed that under a low nitrogen dose and with increase in potassium concentrations, dry matter yield increased; however, as the nitrogen dose increased in associated with potassium doses, dry matter yield did not augment, but was rather suppressed. The three elephant grass genotypes:  ‘Cuban Pinda’, ‘IAC Campinas’, and ‘Cameroon’, had average dry yields of 52.66, 50.60, and 48.57 t ha–1, respectively. Results are highly promising and prove the possibility of using elephant grass as an alternative source for biomass production.

Key words: Renewable energy, mineral nutrients, production capacity.

Abbreviation

GEN, Genotype; G1, Cuban Pinda; G2, IAC Campinas; G3, Cameroon; DMY, dry matter yield; %DM, percentage of whole dry matter; NT, number of tillers per meter; PH, plant height in m; SD, average stem diameter in cm, LW, average leaf width in cm.