Identification of Sorghum Genotypes Tolerant to Aluminium Toxicity using Morphological Markers

  • F.T. Kipsang Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organization
  • J.J. Cheboi University of Nairobi
  • F.M. Nzuve University of Nairobi


Aluminium (Al) toxicity is among the major edaphic factors limiting sorghum production in soils with pH<5.0. It interferes with apical root cell multiplication and elongation, hence, inhibiting the absorption of water and nutrients which eventually leads to poor plant growth, yield and kernel quality. Liming, a most adopted remedy against Al toxicity has proved costly and unsustainable, however, identification and utilization of tolerant genotypes could feasibly aid in management of the menace. Magnavaca solution screening was used in evaluation of 14 selected sorghum genotypes for Al toxicity tolerance. The genotypes were laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) with two levels of Al treatments; 0 and 148 μM. Among the genotypes were two standard checks, Al-sensitive Seredo and Al-tolerant IS 41764. Seeds were pre-germinated in an incubator and measurements for initial seminal root lengths taken four days upon germination. Final seminal root lengths were taken five days after exposure of seedlings to Al and together with initial root lengths used to compute for the net seminal root length, relative seminal root length, root tolerance index and % response to Al that were applied in establishing the tolerance status of the genotypes in reference to the provided standard scales. Results from analysis of variance showed a significant (p<0.001) decline in grand mean for net root lengths of seedlings at 148μM Al in reference to the control (0 μM Al) indicating persistence of Al toxicity as a major constraint to sorghum growth in acidic soils. Sorghum genotypes differed (p<0.001) on the assessed parameters. Genotypes Gadam and Wagita were found to be tolerant, Macia and Kiboko local 2 were moderately tolerant while the remaining eight genotypes expressed sensitivity. These results revealed high potential for Al tolerance among the availab le sorghum germplasm providing basis for selection of tolerant parental lines for breeding against the stress

How to Cite
Kipsang, F., Cheboi, J., & Nzuve, F. (2023). Identification of Sorghum Genotypes Tolerant to Aluminium Toxicity using Morphological Markers. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 87(3&4), 11. Retrieved from