Table of Contents
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
- FUTURE PROSPECTS
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
- Bressani, R. 1989. The proteins of grain amaranth. Food Rev. Int. 5:13-38.
- Early, D.K. 1990. Amaranth production in Mexico and Perú. p. 140-142.
In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press,
- Henderson, T., A. Schneiter, B. Johnson, N. Riveland, and B.G. Schatz. 1993.
Production of amaranth in the northern Great Plains. p. 22-30. In: Alternative
crop and alternative crop production research. A progress report. May 1993.
North Dakota State Univ., Fargo.
- Kauffman, C.S. and L.E. Weber. 1990. Grain amaranth. p. 127-139. In: J. Janick
and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
- Lehman, J. 1989. Proteins of grain amaranth. Legacy 2:3-6. Am. Amaranth Inst.
- National Research Council. 1984. Amaranth: Modern prospects for an ancient
crop. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
- Stallknecht, G.F. and J.R. Schulz-Schaeffer. 1993. Amaranth rediscovered. p.
211-218. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New crops. Wiley, NY.
*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
zAhxAh = A. hybridus x A.
hypochondriacus, A.c. = A. cruentus, A.h. = A.
hypochondriacus, A.ca. = A. caudatus
|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|
Table 2. Days from planting to panicle emergence and anthesis
initiation of 30 amaranth lines grown during 1994-1995 season in
||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