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Berti, M., H. Serri, R. Wilckens, and I. Figueroa. 1996. Field evaluation of grain amaranth in Chile. p. 223-226. In: J. Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

Field Evaluation of Grain Amaranth in Chile*

Marisol Berti, Humberto Serri, Rosemarie Wilckens, and Inés Figueroa


  1. METHODOLOGY
  2. RESULTS
  3. FUTURE PROSPECTS
  4. REFERENCES

Grain amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) is a high protein and high lysine pseudocereal which originated in Central and South America (Bressani 1989; Lehman 1989; Henderson et al. 1993). Amaranth has been rediscovered in several countries, among them the United States and Mexico (Stallknecht and Schulz-Schaeffer 1993; Early 1990; Kauffman and Weber 1990) but is not grown in Chile. Chilean agriculture is going through an economic crisis, especially, for traditional crops such as wheat, oats, barley, and sugarbeets. Consequently the crop alternatives for a rotation are limited. In Chile, previous research on amaranth has been quite limited. Amaranth has been selected as a possible alternative for South-Central Chile because it grows in a wide range of environments, latitudes 0° to 47°S, at a range of elevations (NRC 1984). Amaranth also has a high yielding potential, and is an interesting crop nutritionally.

METHODOLOGY

During 1994 and 1995, a replicated evaluation study was conducted in Chillán, Chile (36°36'S; 72°10'W and 144 m altitude) which included 6 genotypes of A. cruentus, 4 of A. hybridus x A. hypochondriacus, 1 of A. hypochondriacus, and 7 of A. caudatus plus 30 accesions of A. cruentus, A. hypochondriacus, A. caudatus, and A. tricolor. Trials were sown on Oct. 26 1995. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with four replications. Experimental plots had three 5 m long rows, spaced 40 cm apart. Seeding rates and depth were 2 g per row and 1.5 cm, respectively. Plots were hand weeded. The whole experiment was irrigated approximately every 10 days depending on daily evaporation. The central row of each plot was harvested by hand on March 20 for the earlier maturing genotypes and on March 31 for the later ones. Data was collected on number of plants emerged, days and growing degree days to panicle emergence, days and growing degree days to initiation of anthesis, number of plants at harvest time, height at harvest, seed yield, and panicle color at anthesis. Panicle emergence and initiation of anthesis were considered when 50% of the plants in the central row were at this stage. Growing degree days to panicle emergence and initiation of anthesis were calculated by adding the mean between maximum and minimum daily temperatures minus the base temperature of 8°C (NRC 1984).

RESULTS

Amaranthus cruentus and A. hybridus x A. hypochondriacus were significantly different from all A. hypochondriacus and A. caudatus for days from planting and thermal time to panicle emergence and initiation of anthesis (Table 1). The accession Seleccion DED-H1 needed at least 300 growing degree days more than A. cruentus and A. hybridus x A. hypochondriacus to reach the stages already mentioned. The cultivar 'Plainsman' required the least growing degree days for both stages. Seed yields were significantly different among accesions from A. cruentus, A. caudatus, and A. hypochondriacus. A. hypochondriacus x A. hybridus were similar to A. cruentus (Table 1).

It is very clear that A. hypochondriacus and A. caudatus do not adapt well to Chillán environment. Plants flower too late in the season to set enough seed. The other two species have potential. All produced seed yields over 2400 kg/ha. 'Plainsman' had the highest seed yield, over 4000 kg/ha. Interestingly, this cultivar required the fewest growing degree days for panicle initiation and anthesis.

Panicle color at anthesis included red-maroon (K593, A200D, R-158, K283, Plainsman), golden green (K266, K433, K432, Noel Vietmeyer, Linea 10-C, LINEA 41-F), golden orange (Canada), yellow-pink (Concepcion), and red-pink (Ataco, Oscar Blanco, Seleccion DED, ICTA 01-0012).

Results from the 30 accessions were similar. A. cruentus genotypes reached panicle emergence and anthesis at least 100 growing degree days before A. tricolor, A. caudatus, and A. hypochondriacus (Table 2). A. cruentus genotypes had the highest seed yields with the exception of eight genotypes that had low yield, but mainly because of low plant stands (Table 2). The line originated in the Central African Republic had the highest seed yield (7578 kg/ha), but this genotype was not the earliest maturing one like 'Plainsman' in the first study.

Only one A. hypochondriacus genotype had good seed yields, but according to plant characteristics, this genotype may have been wrongly classified. It resembles much more A. cruentus than the earlier one.

FUTURE PROSPECTS

Grain amaranth has shown a yield potential of up to 7500 kg/ha under irrigated experiments in Chillán, Chile, a yield unreported in any other environment in the world. These results suggest that further study of this crop to South-Central Chile is warranted.

REFERENCES


*Contribution from the Plant Production Department, Universidad de Concepción, Chillán, Chile. This project has been financed by the Research Division of the University of Concepción.
Table 1. Days from planting to panicle emergence and anthesis initiation of eighteen amaranth genotypes grown during 1994-1995 season in Chillán, Chile.

Speciesz Genotype or cultivar Panicle emergence (days from planting) Initiation of anthesis (days from planting) Height at harvest (cm) Seed yield (kg/ha)
AhxAh Plainsman 50 59 133 4084
A.c. Concepcion 58 69 165 3650
AhxAh K433 53 60 113 3481
AhxAh K432 53 61 111 3394
A.c. R158 57 70 156 3284
AhxAh K593 50 60 121 3134
A.c. K266 58 66 144 3055
A.c. Canada 58 71 165 2928
A.c. K283 57 67 144 2883
A.c. A200D 58 68 144 2408
A.h. Seleccion DED-H1 86 99 209 1047
A.ca. ICTA01-0012 77 107 241 617
A.ca. Oscar Blanco 84 107 231 183
A.ca. Ataco 87 107 247 114
A.ca. Linea-10 C 71 92 220 94
A.ca. Iniap-Alegria 72 100 240 74
A.ca. Linea-41F 74 91 223 63
A.ca. Noel Vietmeyer 69 89 230 50
LSD (0.05) 4 4 20 808
C.V. (%) 5 3 7 29
zAhxAh = A. hybridus x A. hypochondriacus, A.c. = A. cruentus, A.h. = A. hypochondriacus, A.ca. = A. caudatus


Table 2. Days from planting to panicle emergence and anthesis initiation of 30 amaranth lines grown during 1994-1995 season in Chillán, Chile.

Days from planting to
Species Accession Country of origin panicle initiation anthesis Height at harvest (cm) Seed yield (kg/ha)
A. cruentus Ames 8272 Central Afr. Rep. 62 79 168 7578
A. cruentus Ames 2243 Mexico 61 74 159 6488
A. cruentus MT-5 USA 55 71 163 5428
A. hypochondriacus Ames 1972 Nigeria 70 85 178 5132
A. cruentus Ames 2216 Mexico 58 70 182 4866
A. cruentus Ames 5356 Chile 57 72 139 4047
A. cruentus MT-3 USA 57 70 156 3694
A. cruentus Ames 3216 USA 59 69 140 3203
A. cruentus K283 USA 56 64 146 2803
A. cruentus K266 USA 53 65 157 2669
A. cruentus Ames 5385 Mexico 68 88 180 2575
A. hypochondriacus Ames 2061 Nepal 68 83 172 2506
A. cruentus Ames 5386 India 67 85 152 2234
A. cruentus PI 511719 Guatemala 67 79 167 2191
A. cruentus Ames 2262 USA 62 76 147 2173
A. cruentus R-158 USA 58 65 112 1709
A. cruentus Ames 1981 China 67 82 152 1528
A. cruentus Ames 5648 Mexico 58 74 161 1462
A. cruentus Ames 2151 USA 75 82 175 1401
A. caudatus PI 511679 Argentina 107 117 249 1284
A. cruentus Ames 2266 USA 59 63 116 953
A. hypochondriacus Ames 2260 Mexico 94 107 222 928
A. cruentus Ames 5606 USA 58 82 65 469
A. cruentus Ames 2263 USA 59 59 98 338
A. cruentus Fotete Benin 61 79 112 269
A. cruentus Lenga-lenga Zaire 60 75 121 200
A. cruentus Yendi15 Ghana 63 79 116 100
A. cruentus Ames 1973 Nigeria 59 78 111 81
A. cruentus Ames 5362 Unknown 58 75 90 44
A. tricolor Red amaranth China 63 75 82 19


Last update June 6, 1997 aw