Genetic variability and expression of agro-morphological traits among genotypes of Coffea arabica being promoted by supplementary irrigation.
The use of supplementary irrigation to sustain the plantation during moments of severe water stress or moments of high water demand is becoming almost a norm to keep sustainable crops, especially due to the climate changes and the high frequency in which climate extremes are occurring lately. The objective of this study was to evaluate the agronomic performance and expression of genetic variability among genotypes of Coffea arabica L. cultivated in farming systems with different levels of water supply, focusing on rainfed or supplementary irrigated systems. The experiment was developed in competition field, testing 8 genotypes of C. arabica L. in rainfed or supplementary irrigated systems. The growth and production were evaluated during 2 consecutive cycles (2014-2015 and 2015-2016). Among the growth gains, it was observed large gains in coffee yield, but the magnitude of the gains varied among genotypes. For crop yield, for example, Paraíso MG/H 419-1 presented 136% gain, while Oeiras MG-6851 was capable of yielding as much more coffee in rainfed conditions than in irrigated system. The expression of variability for some agronomic traits (such as coffee yield, canopy size, growth rate, and number of new buds) may be intensified by the supplementary water supply, which promotes gains in production and growth, increases the magnitude of variation among genotypes and allows to identify different patterns for selection, which may not be observed in the rainfed systems.