O experimento foi desenvolvido em casa de vegetação na Embrapa Pecuária Sudeste, utilizando acessos de Brachiaria brizantha. O delineamento experimental foi o de blocos ao acaso, com arranjo fatorial 2 X 4, sendo dois tratamentos (com e sem déficit hídrico) e quatro genótipos. O grupo de genótipos avaliado foi formado pelas cultivares 'BRS Piatã', 'Marandú', 'Xaraés' e 'BRS Paiaguás', sendo o experimento realizado durante o mês de julho de 2008. As variáveis analisadas foram massa seca total, massa seca de parte aérea, massa seca de raiz, massa seca de colmo, massa seca de folha, taxa de alongamento foliar, área foliar, área foliar específica. O estresse por deficiência hídrica exerceu efeito negativo em todas as características estudadas e em todos os acessos avaliados. A cultivar 'BRS Piatã' foi o genótipo que menos apresentou alteração entre os tratamentos com e sem déficit hídrico, indicando portanto, tolerância dessa cultivar em relação ao estresse por falta de água no solo nessas condições experimentais
The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse at Embrapa Southeast Livestock, using Brachiaria brizantha accessions. The experimental design was fully randomized blocks with a 2 x 4 factorial arrangement, with two treatments (with and without water deficit) and four genotypes. The group evaluated was formed by genotypes 'BRS Piatã', 'Marandu', 'Xaraés' and 'BRS Paiaguás'. The experiment was conducted during the month of July 2008. The variables analyzed were dry mass of total plant, shoot mass, leaves, stems and roots, leaf elongation rate, leaf area and specific leaf area. The water deficit stress exerted negative effect on all characteristics studied and in all accessions. 'BRS Piatã' was the genotype that showed less change between treatments with and without water deficit, thus indicating tolerance of this cultivar in relation to water stress in the soil under these experimental conditions
Two cultivars of Brachiaria brizantha (Hochst ex. A. Rich) Stapf. (Syn. Urochloa) were evaluated for their adaptation to water deficit and the stress response mechanisms in a greenhouse experiment. The experimental design was in completely randomized blocks with a 2 × 2 × 4 factorial arrangement. The Marandu and BRS Piatã cultivars were evaluated under two water availability conditions, with or without water restriction. The harvests were carried out 0, 7, 14 and 28 days after the start of water restriction. For both cultivars, the water deficit stress caused a reduction in shoot biomass and leaf area and an increase in the percentage of roots in the deeper soil layers. The B. brizantha cv. Marandu reached critical levels of leaf water potential in a shorter period of water restriction than did the B. brizantha cv. BRS Piatã. The osmoregulation and deepening of the root system are mechanisms of adaptation to water stress observed in both Marandu and BRS Piatã cultivars. Besides that, the Marandu cultivar also increases its leaf senescence and, consequentially, decreases its leaf area, as a response to water deficit.