Path and correlation analyses of the factors affecting biomass production of brassica cultivars under phosphorus-deficiency stress environment

M. Shahbaz Akhtar, Yoko Oki, Tadashi Adachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Path analysis is a statistical technique that partitions correlations into direct and indirect effects and distinguishes between correlation and causation, whereas correlation in general measures the extent and direction (positive or negative) of a relationship occurring between two or more variables. The estimates of correlation and path coefficients can help us to understand the role and relative contribution of various plant traits in establishing growth behavior of crop cultivars under given environmental conditions. Dependence of shoot dry-matter (SDM) production of six hydroponically grown Brassica cultivars on various growth parameters and characteristics of P metabolism was investigated using the modified Johnson's nutrient solution to maintain deficient (10 μM) and adequate (200 μM) P levels. Root dry-matter (RDM), total dry-matter, P content in shoot, and P-utilization efficiency (PUE) had significant and positive effects on production of SDM in a P-deficient environment. Root-shoot ratio (RSR), however, negatively affected SDM of cultivars exposed to P-deficient conditions and did not show any impact on SDM production in either of the two treatments. In a pot study, six Brassica cultivars were grown in a sandy loam soil that was deficient in NaHCO3-extractable P (3.9 mg P kg-1 soil) for 49 days. Significant positive correlations were observed between SDM and some other plant traits such as RDM, leaf area per plant, P uptake, and PUE, at both genotypic and phenotypic levels. The correlations of SDM with RSR, however, were not observed, implying that relative partitioning of biomass into roots or shoots had little role to play in SDM production by Brassica cultivars under P-deficiency stress. Path analysis revealed that favorable impact of RDM and leaf area on SDM production was indirect through positive effect of these parameters on P uptake and PUE. Thus, under P-deficiency stress, better P acquisition and efficient P utilization by the cultivars for biomass synthesis collectively formed the basis of higher SDM production by the cultivars, evidencing that P uptake and utilization efficiency are two important plant traits for selecting P-deficiency-stress-tolerant Brassica cultivars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2659-2679
Number of pages21
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number19-20
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2007


  • Biomass
  • Brassica cultivars
  • Correlation
  • P uptake
  • PUE
  • Path analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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