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International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences





Corresponding Author

Department of Botany, Baburaoji Gholap college, Sangvi, Pune,
Pune- 411 027, M.S., India.

Co Authors


Department of Botany, Abasaheb Garware College, Karve Road, Pune – 411004, M.S., India.
National Research Centre for Grapes, Manjari Farm, Pune, Pune- 412 307, M. S., India.
Department of Botany, University of Pune, Pune - 411 007, M.S., India.

Monocropping of sugarcane is highly profitable to the farmers and sugar industry, as it
reduces the production cost by 30-40%. But productivity of sugarcane under
multiratooning is declining by 30-50% every year due to reduction in cane population per
hectare in the state of Maharashtra. The objectives of this study were to explore the
changes in beneficial and phytotoxic ratoon cane rhizosphere microflora, soil enzymes
and soil NPK level under sugarcane monocropping from high recovery zone and medium
recovery zone. The intensive monocropping of sugarcane was found to induce soil
sickness due to accumulation of allele chemicals released from sugarcane trash and root
exudation, development of phytotoxic microflora and one sided nutrient exhaust. It also
caused almost double increase in phytotoxic fungal and bacterial population along with
five times more stimulation in the activities of soil enzymes like dehydrogenase, cellulase
and amylase. All such alterations correlate with drastic reduction in ratoon cane yield as
compared to plant cane.

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Monocropping, microflora, soil NPK and enzymes, sugarcane


Since ancient times, farmers have recorded the fungi produce many toxic secondary
yield reduction in crops under monocropping metabolites and induce loss in soil fertility
and sugarcane is also not the exception1, 2. The under sugarcane monocropping13. It has
major factors contributing to this phenomenon been reported2 that the impact of soil fatigue
are the allelochemicals released through and post harvest residues on sugarcane
decomposition of crop residue and exudation metabolism and yield in prolonged cultivation.
from ratoon cane root system. The perusal of The level of changes in all above parameters
information on monoculturing clearly indicated was compared between the plant cane
that soil sickness and sugarcane pest and (control) and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th ratoon of
diseases are the main culprits of sugarcane cultivars CoC 671 and Co 86032,
monocropping3, 4, 5. which are cultivated under ratoon in both
The problem of soil sickness plays a recovery zones. Such type of investigation
crucial role in crop ecosystem, all over the may help to overcome the problem of
world, which is the progressive loss of soil autotoxicity and reduction in yield in the state
quality due to repeated culture of single crop6. of Maharashtra.
This soil loses its potential of crop production,
even when sufficient fertilizers and irrigations MATERIALS AND METHODS
are applied to the crop. In addition declining of
physical and biological properties of soil and Selected sites
negatively influenced population dynamics of 1) Kolhapur region (Adur) was having plant
beneficial microflora and essential nutrients7, 8. cane considered as control, first ratoon,
Multiratooning of sugarcane is a more second ratoon, third ratoon to fifth ratoon
sustainable practice giving higher profitable and successive cultivation of 1st, 2nd, 3rd
returns in sugarcane growing countries. In India and 4th ratoon. This site is characterized
the range of ratooning is usually two to ten9. as high recovery zone by sugar industry
While in the state of Maharashtra, the maximum commission Government of Maharashtra.
range of multi-ratooning is only two to four. The The total cultivation under sugarcane in
correlation between soil enzymatic activities, soil the state is characterized in high, medium
fertility and its microflora is well established10, 11. and low recovery zones.
According to Hoagland and Williams12, The soil type in Kolhapur region is red laterite
microorganisms associated with roots are soil with clay particle and pH range 6.42 to
involved in allelopathic interaction and they 8.10. The average minimum and
trigger release of allelochemicals. The maximum temperature throughout the
microorganisms modify the root morphology, year is in between 14°C to 35°C and
soil phase’s equilibrium and nutrient availability annual average rainfall is 738 mm.
and other chemical soil parameters and also 2) The soil type in Pune region is black cotton
can alter root cells’ metabolism and soil with 63% clay particles. The pH range in
permeability. Processes involved in rhizosphere Pune region is in between 6.15 to 7.75
interactions are complex and dynamic. Both and minimum and maximum temperature
organic and inorganic compounds, nutrients throughout the year is in between7°C
pass through rhizosphere before root to39°C and annual rainfall is 722 mm.
absorption. The phytotoxic soil bacteria and

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Agronomic practices After uniform mixing, the plates were kept in
Agronomic practices for cultivation of an incubator at 30 ± 2°C for 3 to 5 days for
plant cane, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th ratoon of bacterial growth. For fungal growth the plates
sugarcane cultivars CoC 671 and Co 86032 in were kept in an incubator at 25 ± 2°C for 5 to
medium and high recovery zones were 10 days. Colony numbers were recorded
recorded. In both the recovery zones chemical using a colony counter. The fungi grown on
fertilizers were not applied through out the culture medium were identified by using the
cropping season, but there was application of Dematiaceous Hyphomycetes. Vol. 115 , a
organic manures like FYM, cow dung and neem Manual of the Aspergilli16 and Manual of the
cake. Flow irrigation was followed at both the Penicillia17. The identification of bacteria was
sites and the frequency of irrigation was broadly done by Analytical Prophylactic Index
after two weeks. In both the recovery zones and Software.
for all the ratoons uniform agronomic practices
were followed by cane cultivars. Assay of soil enzymes
Soil dehydrogenase
Collection of soil samples Activity of this enzyme was assayed
The rhizosphere soil samples under by following the method of Casida et al.18 by
sugarcane cultivars CoC 671 and Co 86032 reduction of 2, 3, 5-triphenyltetrazolium
were collected at random (at 25 cm depth) from chloride (TTC). The soil sample (1g) was
eight months old plant cane, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th treated with CaCO3 (50 mg), 3% (w/v) 2, 3, 5-
ratoon, from high and medium recovery zones. triphenyltetrazolium chloride (1 ml) and the
These samples were air dried at room reaction mixture was incubated for 24 h at
temperature, sieved (2 mm mesh sieve) and 370C. The triphenyl formazan formed was
stored in vacuum dessicator at 27 ± 2°C.The extracted from the reaction mixture with
soil collected from the same regions, which was methanol and the absorbance was recorded
not under the cultivation of sugarcane, was at 485 nm in a Shimadzu UV-visible
referred as absolute control and the soil under spectrophotometer.
plant cane was considered as control.
Soil amylase
Identification of rhizosphere soil microflora Above mentioned soil sample (1g) was
and analysis of microbial count taken in flask to which 1.5 ml of toluene was
The soil dilution method was used to added. This mixture was shaken and allowed
identify rhizosphere soil microflora of absolute to stand for 15 min and then 10 ml of distilled
control (soil not under any type of cane water and 5 ml of 2 % (W/V) solution of
cultivation), plant cane, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th soluble starch was added. It was kept in an
ratoon soil. The rhizosphere soil suspensions incubator. After five hours the flask was
were inoculated (1ml) for bacterial cultures on opened and 15 ml distilled water was added.
nutrient agar for total plate count14. Jensen’s This mixture was centrifuged and one ml of
medium for nitrogen fixing bacteria, supernatant was used to estimate reducing
Pikovskaya’s medium for phosphate solubilizing sugars by modified Nelson-Somogyi
bacteria, Czapek’s Dox medium for method19. From these results activity of
decomposing fungi and MGYP (Malt glucose amylase was calculated.
yeast peptone) medium for actinomycetes were
used. 30 g of soil sample was dispensed in 270 Soil cellulase
ml of sterile distilled water. Following agitation, Above mentioned soil sample (5g) was
serial dilutions were set up (up to 10-8), aliquots placed in a flask and 0.5 ml of toluene was
of 10-5 to 10-8 concentrations were inoculated in added. It was mixed thoroughly and after 15
petri plates (90mm) containing sterile media. min, 10 ml of acetate buffer (pH 5.9) and 10

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ml of 1% carboxymethylcellulose was add into oxysporum, F. moniliformae, Rhizoctonia,
this reaction mixture. The flask was then Cladosporium, Alternaria, Aspergillus niger
incubated for 24 hours at 300C. At the end 50 ml was becoming more frequent. Similarly the
distilled water was added and the final volume harmful bacteria like Enterobacter and
was made up to 100 ml. The reducing sugars Agrobacter were detected frequently under
produced as a result of an activity of this monocropping. It has been suggested that21,
enzyme were determined19. 22
the allelochemicals like tannins and
phenols, chlorogenic, elagic, ferulic and p-
Analysis of soil NPK contents coumaric acids interfere with soil microbial
The above mentioned soil sample (100g) activities and their population. They further
was used for the analysis of NPK content by explained that such allelochemicals affect
using the standard methods3, 20. relative concentration of soil ammonia and
nitrates as well as nitrogen fixation and
Statistical analysis nitrification.
The data were summarized as the pooled Some research workers23 have
means of five replicates, collected over two claimed that microorganisms affect plant
years (2005-2006 and 2006-2007), with productivity through their impact on soil
standard deviation as a measure of variability. physical and chemical properties as well as
One way ANOVA was used to compare the availability of nutrients. It is also reported24, 25
different samples. Fisher’s LSD was applied as that the autotoxicity and soil fatigue as well as
a post hoc test at P<0.05. All calculations were loss in fertility are created under
performed with Sigma stat (release 3.5) and monocropping of sugarcane. They attributed
Microsoft Excel (Office 2000). these changes in soil to enhanced population
of phytotoxic fungi and bacteria as well as to
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION the secondary metabolites secreted by them.
Amongst microbial species, Fusarium
Rhizosphere soil microflora identification oxysporum was the most dreadful, because it
Micro environment and microflora in secretes fusaric acid, which is mainly
contact with plant roots can be altered by responsible for autotoxicity in ratoon
exudates containing different types of organic sugarcane26. The findings of present study
and inorganic compounds. Some exudates were supported by many researchers24, 27, 28.
metabolites stimulate the microbial growth, while They reported Aspergillus, Fusarium and
others inhibit it. The nature of root exudates Cladosporium species from rhizosphere soil
determines microbial balance in rhizosphere of sugarcane ratoon and claimed that the
soil, which may have direct or indirect effects on autotoxicity was due to secondary
plant growth and development of recipient metabolites secreted by them, leading to yield
plant11, 12. The released allelochemicals from reduction.
leachates, residues and root exudates can play Other studies have reported that
a significant positive or negative role (s). pathogenic fungi were associated with loss in
The data on rhizosphere soil microflora soil fertility and microbial population under
indicated that different types of harmful fungi sugarcane monocropping, due to
and bacteria developed in rhizosphere soil of accumulation of different types of
sugarcane under monocropping as compared to allelochemicals29, 30, 31, by correlating
absolute control and plant cane of both cultivars rhizosphere fungi with growth and yield of
in medium recovery zone (Table 1). With sugarcane. The production of phytotoxins by
increasing number of multi-ratooning the these fungi was responsible for poor
occurrence of harmful fungi like Fusarium sugarcane growth in Taiwan1, 32. With
increasing frequency of ratoon (i.e. 2nd ratoon

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onwards) there was increase in different types decline in sugarcane was associated with soil
of fungi, such as Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium, borne problems such as increase in
Aspergillus candidus, Rhizoctonia, Curvularia, population of phytoxic fungi, loss in benficial
Cladosporium cladosporioides, Fusarium microflora, loss or exaust of nutiernts,
oxysporum etc. and bacteria and actinomycetes. increase in soil pH and changes in soil
This increase can be attributed to the physico-chemical properties. The results of
allelochemicals released from trash and old present study on above mentioned aspects
roots of ratoon sugarcane plants , along with also corroborate with the above findings.
other soil factors. According to Sampietro24 yield

Table 1
Identity of rhizosphere microbial isolates obtained from sugarcane cultivars CoC 671 and
Co 86032 from medium recovery zone under monoculturing.

Frequency Fungal species Bacteria and Actinomycetes

CoC 671 Co 86032 CoC 671 Co 86032
Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus flavus,
*Control Actinomycetes Agrobacter radiobacter
Penicillium expansum, Penicilliumexpansum,
Aspergillus flavus , Aspergillus flavus,
Plant cane Penicillium expansum, Penicillium Enterobacter erogens
Alternaria alternata expansum,
Aspergillus niger,
Aspergillus flavus, Agrobacter
st Penicillium expansum, radiobacter,
1 expansum, Agrobacter radiobacter
Fusarium oxysporum, Enterobacter
Fusarium oxysporum,
Paecilomyces marquandi gergoviae
Alternaria alternata
Aspergillus flavus ,
Aspergillus niger, expansum,
2 Penicillium expansum, Fusarium Actinomycetes Agrobacter radiobacter
Fusarium oxysporum moniliforme,
Verticillium albo-
Aspergillus flavus,
Aspergillus flavus,
Fusarium moniliforme,
expansum, Fusarium Brevundimonas
Rhizoctonia , Curvularia
3rd oxysporum, diminuta, Azotobacter
lunata, Cladosporium
Alternaria alternata, Azotobacter
Verticillium albo-
Trichoderma viride
Aspergillus niger,
Aspergillus flavus,
Penicillium expansum,
4th Paecilomyces Echerichia coli Actinomycetes
Curvularia lunata,
marquandi, Trichoderma

*Control- Absolute control: soil not under any type of cane cultivation.
• The data on microflora recorded is based on three times observations of the rhizosphere soil analysis.

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Plant cane: First crop, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th changes in available carbon substrates and
represents number of years of continuous nutrients. After harvesting at the end of
cropping of sugarcane (ratooning frequency). ratoon crop there is amendment or
incorporation of 5 to 6 tons of crop residue
Rhizosphere soil microbial counts per hectare. This crop residue (sugarcane
Rhizosphere soil Azotobacter counts dried leaves) is adding organic carbon in the
under monocropping were increased soil and might be responsible to induce the
significantly with frequency of ratooning as changes in soil microflora. This may be the
compared to control in medium recovery zone reason for variations of microbial counts
under both cultivars (Table 2). These changes under monocropping of sugarcane. There
were considered as sensitive indicators of soil was no correlation between frequency of
quality22. The changes in microbial counts are ratooning and phosphate solubilizing
usually in response to organic matter cycles bacteria, residue decomposing and other
within the soil33, 34. The latter authors claimed microbes.
that microbial biomass fluctuates due to

Table 2
Rhizosphere soil microbial counts (CFUs /g soil dry weight) for sugarcane cultivars CoC
671 and Co 86032 from medium recovery zone under monoculturing.

Frequency Azotobacter decomposing Other microbes
solubilizing bacteria
of microbes
ratooning CoC Co CoC Co Co CoC Co
CoC 671
671 86032 671 86032 86032 671 86032
4 4 7 7 7 3 7 7
*Control 02x10 01x10 05x10 02 x10 02x10 03x10 12x10 10x10

Plant cane 03x104 01x104 06x107 02 x107 03x107 05x103 14x107 11x107

1st 02x105 02x105 07x107 05x107 04x107 01x107 17x107 12x107

2nd 02x105 02x105 09x107 06x107 05x105 03x103 17x107 12x107

rd 5 6 7 8 7 7 7 7
3 03x10 03x10 06x10 2.5x10 07x10 03x10 20x10 06x10
th 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8
4 03x10 03x10 05x10 06x10 01x10 03x10 12x10 20X10

LSD 0.05 3.63x106 3.65x106 1.62x107 1.78x107 5.69x106 3.29x106 2.62x107 1.46x108

Significance ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
CFUs - Colony Forming Units
*Control- Absolute control: soil not under any type of cane cultivation.

Plant cane: First crop, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th Soil enzyme activity
represents number of years of continuous In high and medium recovery zones,
cropping of sugarcane (ratooning frequency). dehydrogenase, cellulase and amylase

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activities in soil under both cultivars were alpha-alpha and sugarcane. One of the best
increased significantly due to monocropping examples demonstrating auto, intoxication
(Figs 1-3). The stimulation was recorded35 in the mechanism mediated by decomposing
activities of different soil enzymes with harvest residue is for rice39. He observed
continuous cultivation of sugarcane, cassava yield reduction in second annual rice crop by
and pineapple. The involvement of 25% in Taiwan. Amount of phytotoxins
22, 33
dehydrogenase activity was indicated in the produced by rice residue was dependent by
breakdown of soil organic matter and microbial environmental conditions such as humidity,
activity. During monocropping of sugarcane, temperature, soil minerals etc. The
after every successive harvesting of ratoon composition of organic matter determines the
crop, huge biomass of sugarcane trash (dried soil properties (nutrient availability, microbial
cane leaves) is added into the soil, which might population and soil fauna) which will affect
be responsible for stimulating the activities of the germination and growth of plants. Apart
above mentioned soil enzymes. It was claimed from this, accumulation of different
by many workers that 36, 37, 38 enhanced allelochemicals with increasing
activities of such enzymes were due to addition concentrations along with increasing
of organic matter in the soil, which promoted frequency of ratooning might be the additional
microbial activities. Decomposition of crop cause for inducing stimulation in activities of
residues contributes to autotoxic effect observed above mentioned soil enzymes.
for several crop species like rice, asparagus,

Fig. 1
Effect of monocropping on activity of dehydrogenase in soil under sugarcane cultivars CoC
671 and Co 86032 from high and medium recovery zones (HRZ and MRZ, respectively).


HRZ CoC 671 HRZ Co 86032
671 86032
LSD 0.05 0.33 0.28 0.29 0.26
Significance ** ** ** **
Data are mean values (n=5) with error bars as ±standard deviation. ‘**’ represent significance
at p<0.01.
Fisher’s LSD was applied as a post hoc test at p<0.05.
Plant cane: First crop, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th represents number of years of continuous cropping of
sugarcane (ratooning frequency).

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Fig. 2
Effect of monocropping on activity of cellulase in soil under sugarcane cultivars CoC 671
and Co 86032 from high and medium recovery zones (HRZ and MRZ, respectively).

HRZ CoC 671 HRZ Co 86032 MRZ CoC 671 MRZ Co 86032
LSD 0.05 0.38 0.24 0.34 0.23
Significance ** ** ** **
Data are mean values (n=5) with error bars as ±standard deviation. ‘**’ represent significance at p<0.01.
Fisher’s LSD was applied as a post hoc test at p<0.05.
Plant cane: First crop, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th represents number of years of continuous cropping of

Fig. 3
Effect of monocropping on activity of amylase in soil under sugarcane cultivars CoC 671
and Co 86032 from high and medium recovery zones (HRZ and MRZ, respectively).

HRZ CoC 671 HRZ Co 86032 MRZ CoC 671 MRZ Co 86032
LSD 0.05 0.69 0.72 0.43 0.50
Significance ** ** ** **
Data are mean values (n=5) with error bars as ±standard deviation. ‘**’ represent significance at p<0.01.
Fisher’s LSD was applied as a post hoc test at p<0.05.
nd rd th th
Plant cane: First crop, 2 , 3 , 5 and 6 represents number of years of continuous cropping of sugarcane (ratooning

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Rhizosphere soil NPK contents
The rhizosphere soil N, P and K levels under monocropping were negatively influenced with
increasing frequency of ratooning in medium and high recovery zones, but the results are non
significant (Figs 4-6). This reduction in NPK level might be due to disturbance in the relationship
between the root system of cane plant and rhizosphere soil. The one sided soil exhaustion of NPK
during monoculturing has been reported26. NPK levels were found to be correlated with yield
potential in ratoon40, 41. Few researchers were of the opinion that42, 43 maintaining adequate levels
of macro and micronutrients were essential to obtain higher cane yields. Allelochemicals can
interfere with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron uptake44, 45, 46, 47.

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Fig. 5
Effect of monocropping on phosphorus content in soil under sugarcane cultivars CoC 671
and Co 86032 from high and medium recovery zones (HRZ and MRZ, respectively).



Kg ha-1




CoC 671 Co 86032 CoC 671 Co 86032

Plant cane 2nd 3rd 5th 6th (Ratoon frequency)

HRZ CoC 671 HRZ Co 86032 MRZ CoC 671 MRZ Co 86032
LSD 0.05 5.99 5.56 5.18 4.27
Significance ** ** * **

Column data are mean values (n=5) with error bars as ±standard deviation. ‘*’, ‘**’ represent significance at p<0.05,
p<0.01 respectively.
Fisher’s LSD was applied as a post hoc test at p<0.05.
nd rd th th
Plant cane: First crop, 2 , 3 , 5 and 6 represents number of years of continuous cropping of sugarcane (ratooning
Fig. 6
Effect of monocropping on potassium content in soil under sugarcane cultivars CoC 671
and Co 86032 from high and medium recovery zones (HRZ and MRZ, respectively).


Kg ha-1





CoC 671 Co 86032 CoC 671 Co 86032

Plant cane 2nd 3rd 5th 6th (Ratoon frequency)

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HRZ CoC 671 HRZ Co 86032 MRZ CoC 671 MRZ Co 86032
LSD 0.05 75.61 - 70.25 56.67
Significance * ns * **

Column data are mean values (n=5) with error bars as ±standard deviation. ‘*’, ‘**’ and ‘ns’ represent significance at
p<0.05, p<0.01 and non-significance, respectively.
Fisher’s LSD was applied as a post hoc test at p<0.05.

Plant cane: First crop, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th represents number of years of continuous cropping of
sugarcane (ratooning frequency).

Effect of monoculturing on yield 86032 as compared to plant cane. The level

parameters of sugarcane ratoon of reduction was increased from plant cane
Number of millable canes/stool (2.15 and 2.25 kg) to sixth ratoon, which
The results recorded in table (Table 3) showed the highest reduction (1.05 and 1.10
had indicated drastic reduction in no. of kg).
millable canes per stool in both the cultivars. It was showed that48 number of millable
The degree of reduction was increased with canes per stool, single cane weight and stalk
the increasing frequency of ratooning. The diameter reflected highly positive direct effect
range of reduction observed was from 12.00 on ratoon yield at genotypic level. The single
and 13.00 % (plant cane) to 6.00 to 7.15 % (4th cane weight, cane diameter and no. of tillers
ratoon). per stool are also the important characters
contributing towards cane yield49. The
Weight of millable cane increased potassium causing profuse tillering
Considerable reduction in weight of in sugarcane was also observed50.
millable cane was noted in CoC 671 and Co

Table 3
Effect of monoculturing on yield parameters of sugarcane cultivars CoC 671 and Co 86032
from high recovery zone.

Frequency No. of millable canes/stool Weight of millable cane (kg)

of ratooning CoC 671 Co 86032 CoC 671 Co 86032
Plant cane 12.00 13.00 2.15 2.25
±1.68 ±0.91 ±0.32 ±0.24
1st 10.10 11.20 1.95 2.00
±0.81 ±0.90 ±0.25 ±0.12
2nd 8.50 9.35 1.35 1.50
±0.93 ±1.40 ±0.18 ±0.19
3rd 6.30 8.50 1.18 1.20
±0.82 ±1.19 ±0.08 ±0.10
4th 6.00 7.15 1.05 1.10
±0.84 ±0.64 ±0.09 ±0.09
LSD 0.05 1.42 1.38 0.28 0.22
Significance ** ** ** **

Data are mean values (n=5) followed by ±standard deviation. ‘*’, ‘**’ and ‘ns’ represent significance at p<0.05,
p<0.01 and non-significance, respectively.

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Table 4
Effect of monoculturing on yield parameters of sugarcane cultivars CoC 671 and Co 86032
from medium recovery zone.

No. of millable Weight of millable

canes/stool cane (kg)
Co Co
ratooning CoC 671 CoC 671
86032 86032
14.00 16.25 2.00 2.15
Plant cane
±1.96 ±1.14 ±0.30 ±0.23
11.50 14.50 1.75 1.85
±0.92 ±1.16 ±0.22 ±0.11
9.50 10.00 1.45 1.50
±1.04 ±1.50 ±0.20 ±0.19
9.12 9.75 1.50 0.90
±1.18 ±1.36 ±0.10 ±0.08
8.15 8.95 1.10 1.15
±1.14 ±0.81 ±0.099 ±0.10
LSD 0.05 1.73 1.61 0.27 0.21
Significance ** ** ** **
# ’
Data are mean values (n=5) followed by ±standard deviation. ‘*’, ‘**’ and ‘ns represent significance at p<0.05,
p<0.01 and non-significance, respectively.

Chemical interference by microbial diversity and colony numbers. The

allelochemicals plays an important role in crop stimulated activities of soil dehydrogenase,
yield considering monocropping. The cellulase and amylase most likely correlated
productivity of agricultural crops can be with amendment of organic matter in ratoon
affected by allelochemicals released from soil in the form of sugarcane trash (5 to 6
crops, direct and indirect action on Tons/ ha).
microorganisms, available nutrients was also
indicated51. In sugarcane yield reduction under ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
monocropping can be correlated with
development of phytotoxic microflora, loss in
First author is grateful for the financial
major soil nutrients like NPK and changes in
support in terms of teacher fellowship from
the activities in the soil enzymes.
University Grants Commission, New Delhi.
In conclusion, our findings indicated a
Authors also acknowledge Head, Department
significant decrease in NPK contents during
of Botany, University of Pune, for providing
sugarcane monocropping. It remains to be
the research facilities.
assessed whether such a loss of soil fertility
could be linked to the observed increases in


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