Lint Yield Compensatory Response to Main Stem Node Removal in Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)

S. Yang, R. J. Kaggwa, P. Andrade-Sanchez, M. Zarnstorff, G. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Hail storm damage to the cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants can destroy vegetative and reproductive structures, modify canopy architecture and impact lint yield. Field studies were conducted at University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to examine cotton plant architecture changes and compensatory growth in response to removal treatments of uppermost nodes on main stem (terminal bud removal, 2 node removal and 4 node removal) as simulation of hail damage at the node 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 24 growth stages. Main stem node removal caused significant decrease in leaf area and biomass, especially at early growth stages. However, significant lint yield reduction only occurred by removing 2 nodes at the node 4 stage and removing 4 nodes at the node 8 stage in 2011, removing terminal bud at the node 12 stage in 2012 and removing terminal bud, 2 nodes and 4 nodes at the node 8 stage in 2013. The lint yield reduction did not exceed 13 % in all three growing seasons. Yield loss due to main stem node removal was mainly compensated by increased boll number on the vegetative branches at early growth stages and on fruiting branches at late growth stages. Yield compensation from vegetative branches increased with number of main stem nodes removed. This study suggests that the cotton crop has a strong compensatory ability to plant structure damage due to its indeterminate growth and longer growing season in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Cotton yield
  • Hail damage
  • Main stem node removal
  • Yield compensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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