J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (9): 1352-1360.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00533.x

• Stress & Phytochemistry • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Assessing the Suitability of Various Physiological Traits to Screen Wheat Genotypes for Salt Tolerance

Salah E. El-Hendawy, Yuncai Hu and Urs Schmidhalter   


Success of improving the salt tolerance of genotypes requires effective and reliable screening traits in breeding programs.The objective was to assess the suitability of various physiological traits to screen wheat genotypes for salt tolerance.Thirteen wheat genotypes from Egypt, Germany, Australia and India were grown in soil with two salinity levels (control and 150 mmol/L NaCl) in a greenhouse. The physiological traits (ion contents in leaves and stems, i.e. Na+, Cl−, K+, Ca2+), the ratios of K+/Na+ and Ca+/Na+ in the leaves and stems, net photosynthesis rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, chlorophyll content (SPAD value), and leaf water relations, were measured at different growth stages. The physiological traits except for Na+ and Cl− in stems and the leaf transpiration rate at 150 mmol/L NaCl showed a significant genotypic variation, indicating that the traits that have a significant genotypic variation may be possibly used as screening criteria.According to the analysis of linear regression of the scores of the physiological traits against those of grain yield, however,the physiological traits of Ca2+ and Ca2+/Na+ at 45 d and final harvest with the greatest genotypic variation were ranked at the top. From a practical and economic point of view, SPAD value should be considered to be used as screening criteria and/or there is a need to develop a quick and practical approach to determine Ca2+ in plant tissues.

Key words: physiological traits, salinity, screening, wheat genotypes.

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