Agricultural Science

Agricultural Science

ISSN: 2291-4471 (Print)    ISSN: 2291-448X (Online)

Volume 2 (2014), No. 1, Pages 9-21

DOI: 10.12735/as.v2i1p9

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Variability in Salt Tolerance of Sorghum bicolor L.

Youping Sun1  Genhua Niu1  Pedro Osuna2  Lijuan Zhao4  Girisha Ganjegunte1  Gary Peterson3  Jose R. Peralta-Videa4  Jorge L. Gardea-Torresdey4 

1Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1380 A&M Circle, El Paso, TX 79927, U.S.A.
2Universidad Autonoma De Ciudad Juarez, Plutarco Elias Calles # 1210, Fovissste Chamizal, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua 32310, Mexico
3Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1102 East FM 1294, Lubbock, TX 79403, U.S.A.
4Chemistry Department, The University of Texas at El Paso, 500 West University Avenue, El Paso, TX 79968, U.S.A.

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Salt tolerance of ten sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) varieties (‘1790E’, ‘BTx642’, ‘Desert Maize’, ‘Macia’, ‘RTx430’, ‘Schrock’, ‘Shallu’, ‘Tx2783’, ‘Tx7078’, and ‘Wheatland’) was evaluated in two greenhouse experiments. In the first experiment, sorghum were sown in substrates moistened with either nutrient solution (no addition of salts, control) at electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 dS·m-1 or salt solution at EC 5, 10 or 17 dS·m-1. Seedling emergence percentage decreased in all varieties only at EC of 17 dS·m-1 compared to the control. Seedling emergence percentage of sorghum ‘Macia’ and ‘1790E’ irrigated with salt solution at EC of 17 dS·m-1 decreased by 50% and 51%, while that of ‘RTx430’ reduced by 97%, other varieties ranged from 64% to 90%. Both salt solution at EC of 5 and 10 dS·m-1 reduced the dry weight of sorghum seedlings by 29% and 72% on average, respectively, compared to control. In the 2nd experiment, plants were irrigated with nutrient solution or salt solution at EC of 5.0 or 10.0 dS·m-1 for 30 days. Salt solution at EC of 5.0 and 10.0 dS·m-1 had similar influences on dry weight (DW) of all sorghum varieties except ‘Tx2783’. The relative dry weight of ‘Shallu’, ‘Desert Maize’, and ‘1790E’ irrigated with salt solution at EC of 10 dS·m-1 were over 67%, those of ‘Macia’, ‘Schrock’, and ‘RTx430’ ranged from 30% to 33%, and other varieties were 45% to 59%. Foliar salt damage was observed on all salt-treated sorghum varieties except for ‘Shallu’, which had the lowest shoot DW reduction and greatest visual score. Leaf photosynthesis of all sorghum plants irrigated with salt solution at EC of 5 and 10 dS·m-1 was decreased by 6.0% and 10.6%, respectively. Leaf Na+ concentration at EC of 5.0 and 10.0 dS·m-1 increased by 25.6% and 60.7%, respectively, compared to the control; while Cl- concentration increased by 16.4% and 41.2%, and Ca2+ concentration increased by 17.8% and 34.3%. In conclusion, salt tolerance of sorghum varied with plant growing stage and varieties. ‘Shallu’, ‘Desert Maize’, and ‘1790E’ were the most salt tolerant varieties, while ‘Schrock’ and ‘RTx430’ showed the least salt tolerance in both experiments. All varieties had high Na+ exclusion ability.

Keywords: biofuel feedstock, gas exchange, mineral nutrient, salinity, sorghum

To Cite this Article: Sun, Y. P., Niu, G. H., Osuna, P., Zhao, L. J., Ganjegunte, G., Peterson, G., . . . Gardea-Torresdey, J. L. (2014). Variability in salt tolerance of sorghum bicolor L. Agricultural Science, 2(1), 9-21.

Copyright © Youping Sun et al.

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This article is published under license to Science and Education Centre of North America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Variability in Salt Tolerance of Sorghum bicolor L.