Comparative effect of salinity on ion accumulation, grain yield and stability salt tolerance degree of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in different growth stage

Abdennaceur Ben Khaled, Taoufik Hayek, Elhem Mansour, Ali Ferchichi


In arid and semi-arid regions of the world, excess salts in agricultural land can limit crop production. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is one of the most salt tolerant crop species. This study was conducted to determine the effects of salinity on seed germination, mineral content and yield production of 14 barley accessions from two regions in the Southern Tunisia. First experiment was conducted in laboratory to test the effect of nine levels of NaCl concentrations in different germination parameter. Second experiments were conducted in a greenhouse. The accessions were grown in soil and exposed to three salinity levels. Salinity decreased significantly the germination rate and the germination rate index for all accessions. Na+ content, total dry matter and grain yield vary significantly with increasing salinity levels. The degree of tolerance varies between accessions in the different growth stage. A significant correlation were observed between ranking using grain yield and multivariate parameter. The tolerance degree based in germination rate and Na+ content don’t present significant correlation with yield ranking. Therefore, ranking using multivariate parameter can be the appropriate method to analysis the tolerance degree of barley under saline conditions. The differences response between accessions of local population of barley “Ardhaoui” reflected an important internal genetic variability against the salinity. This variability could be more explored and used for the barley breeding program. The accessions Ettalah, Chneni Tatouine and Elhezma showed more salt tolerance at 13 dS/m as indicated by the multivariate ranking using germination rate, Na+ content and grain yield.

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