Growth and Morpho-physiological assessments of Indonesian red chili cultivars on early vegetative stage under water stress conditions: A comparison of waterlogging and drought

Erna Siaga1, 2*, Dwi S. Rini2, Laily I. Widuri3, Jun-Ichi Sakagami4, Benyamin Lakitan5, 6, and Shin Yabuta7
Red chili pepper Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum plants are one of the fruity vegetable types that are often cultivated in riparian tropical wetlands but are constrained by water stress such as waterlogging during rainy season and drought in dry season. The aim of this research was to evaluate the growth and morpho-physiological responses of red chili pepper cultivars subjected to waterlogging and drought stress conditions. The experiment was carried out in a strip-plot design with two factors. The first factor was three water stress treatments, namely control (field capacity), waterlogging, and drought. The second factor was six cultivars of Indonesian red chili pepper. The findings indicated that both waterlogging and drought stress had a detrimental impact on the reduction of the growth parameters of red chili pepper such as root, shoot and total dry weight. Chili pepper defended its root weights in response to drought stress (0.653 g plant-1) whereas it preserved shoot weight in response to waterlogging (0.913 g plant-1). In the morphological characters, chili pepper exhibited an increase in specific leaf area expansion in response to both waterlogging (150.82 cm2) and drought (188.82 cm2) compared to control (140.91 cm2), but decreased specific leaf weight during stresses and recovered after 7 d in waterlogging. Leaf chlorophyll content (SPAD) and leaf relative water content (LRWC), as physiological characteristics, also experienced a decline during exposure to both waterlogging and drought during 8 d; yet, SPAD and LRWC able to recover completely at 7 d after waterlogging and drought treatment were terminated.
Keywords: Drought stress, leaf relative water content, specific leaf area, waterlogging, wetlands.
1Universitas Bina Insan, Faculty of Plant and Animal Science, Department of Agrotechnology, 31626 Lubuklinggau, Indonesia.
2National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Research Center for Genetic Engineering, 16911 Cibinong, Indonesia.
3Universitas Jember, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agrotechnology, 68121 Jember, Indonesia.
4Kagoshima University, Faculty of Agriculture, 890-0065 Kagoshima, Japan.
5Universitas Sriwijaya, Faculty of Agriculture, 30662 Inderalaya, Indonesia.
6Universitas Sriwijaya, Research Center for Sub-optimal Lands (PUR-PLSO), 30139 Palembang, Indonesia.
7Setsunan University, Faculty of Agriculture, 572-8508 Osaka, Japan.
*Corresponding author (ernasiaga@univbinainsan.ac.id).