Sorghum is a C4 grass native in the semi-arid environments of the African sub-Saharan and consequently chilling stress can affect the performance of the crop, especially at the reproductive stages. Moreover, a significant delay of flowering and maturity was observed when sorghum grows under low temperatures regions, and consequently farmers in highland areas of Uganda face yield penalties. Forty genotypes were evaluated in 2017B and 2018A seasons under non-stress (Kabanyolo) and cold stress (Kachwekano and Zombo) field conditions. Data were recorded on: Days to 50% flowering, days to physiological maturity, culm height, panicle length, panicle weight, kernel weight per panicle, and thousand grain weight. Mean comparison of most agronomic traits recorded indicated high significant differences for season-by-genotype, location-by-genotypes, and the three-way interaction (GxLxS). This indicates that cold stress significantly affects yield components. Significant positive correlation was obtained between days to 50% flowering, days to maturity, and culm height, which suggested that simultaneous improvement of these traits is possible. Some genotypes (IESV 91003LT, IESV 91105LT and IS 29376) were best ranked in normal environment but poorly performed in cold environments, which indicates lack of adaptation in highland. BM6, Cytanobe, IESV 91018, IESV 91609, IS 25563 showed generally good performance and stability in all locations. Therefore, these genotypes can be used as parental lines for further breeding process.
Key words: Sorghum, cold stress, flowering, maturity, yield component.
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