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The optimum and economically feasible intra row spacing for in vitro regenerated sugarcane (Saccharum Spp.) plantlets

Johannes Mequanen, Mebrahtom Ftwi, Netsanet Ayele, Feyissa Tadesse, Tadesse Negi, Mohammed Bushura

Abstract


Tissue culture is an important and alternative technology to conventional seed propagation for speeding up the propagation rate in sugarcane. However, tissue culture would be effective if the in vitro regenerated plantlets are planted at optimum and economically feasible intra row spacing. Therefore, the objectives of this investigation were to determine optimum and economically feasible intra row spacing for speeding subsequent seed propagation and direct commercial use, respectively. The experiment was conducted at Metahara Sugar Estate plantation in 2012- 2013 crop season using completely randomized block design replicated three times. In vitro regenerated plantlets of variety NCo334 propagated at Mekelle Institute of Biotechnology Tissue Culture Laboratory were transplanted to field at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 cm intra row spacing. Data on yield and yield components were collected to evaluate the performance of plantlets while the relative cost incurred to plant seedlings propagated using tissue culture and conventional methods were recorded to calculate cost benefit ratio and relative propagation rate. Results of the present investigation indicate the advantage of tissue culture over the conventional seed propagation in terms of speeding seed propagation in sugarcane. We recommend 10-30 cm intra row spacing between plants to speed up subsequent seed propagation. On the contrary, the intra row spacing of 50 cm between plants is recommended and determined to be the most optimum and economically feasible if the plantlets were planted for direct commercial use. The present investigation was conducted for one variety and under one soil type (light soil); future experiments conducted with similar objectives should include other commercial sugarcane varieties under different management practices and soil types.

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