Among various abiotic stresses, water is reported as a rare entity in many parts of the world. Decreased frequency of precipitation and global temperature rise will further aggravate the situation in future. Being C4 plant, sugarcane requires generous water for the proper growth. Plant root system primarily supports above-ground growth by anchoring in the soil and facilitates water and nutrients uptake from the soil. The plasticity and dynamic nature of roots endow plants for the uptake of vital nutrients from the soil even under soil moisture conditions. In sugarcane, the major part of root system are generally observed in the upper soil layers, while limited water availability shifts the root growth towards the lower soil layer to sustained water uptake. In addition, root traits are directly related to physiological traits of the shoot to cope up with water limited situations via reduction in stomatal conductance and an upsurge in density and deep root traits, adaptations at biochemical and molecular level which includes osmotic adjustment and ROS detoxification. Under stressed conditions, these complex interactive systems adjust homeo-statically to minimize the adverse impacts of stress and sustain balanced metabolism. Therefore, the present chapter deals with physiological and biochemical traits along with root traits that helps for better productivity of sugarcane under water-limited conditions.
Part of the book: Drought