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Screening sorghum genotypes for salinity tolerant biomass production

Genetic improvement of salt tolerance is of high importance due to the extent and the constant increase in salt affected areas. Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] has been considered relatively more salt tolerant than maize and has the potential as a grain and fodder crop for salt affected areas. One hundred sorghum genotypes were screened for salinity tolerance in pots containing Alfisol and initially irrigated with a 250-mM NaCl solution in a randomized block design with three replications. Subsequently 46 selected genotypes were assessed in a second trial to confirm their responses to salinity. Substantial variation in shoot biomass ratio was identified among the genotypes. The performance of genotypes was consistent across experiments. Seven salinity tolerant and ten salinity sensitive genotypes are reported. Relative shoot lengths of seedlings were genetically correlated to the shoot biomass ratios at all stages of sampling though the relationships were not close enough to use the trait as a selection criterion. In general, the whole-plant tolerance to salinity resulted in reduced shoot Na+ concentration. The K+/Na+ and Ca2+/Na+ ratios were also positively related to tolerance but with a lesser r2. Therefore, it is concluded that genotypic diversity exists for salt tolerance biomass production and that Na+ exclusion from the shoot may be a major mechanism involved in that tolerance.

L. Krishnamurthy, Rachid Serraj, C. Tom Hash, Abdullah J. Dakheel, Belum V. S. Reddy
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
Page Number: 
DOI 10.1007/s10681-006-9343-9

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