Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 261–273 | Cite as

Comprehensive evaluating of wild and cultivated emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) genotypes response to salt stress

  • Kewei Feng
  • Licao Cui
  • Shuzuo Lv
  • Jianxin Bian
  • Meng Wang
  • Weining Song
  • Xiaojun Nie
Original paper


Emmer wheat as the progenitor of common wheat, holds the genetic potentiality for improvement of wheat yield, quality and stress tolerance such as drought and salt. To comprehensively evaluate the salt tolerance of emmer wheat, a total of 30 traits including growth, physiology and photosynthesis related as well as K+ and Na+ content of 30 wild emmer and 14 durum wheat accessions were systematically investigated and compared between normal and saline conditions. Salt tolerance index (STI) based on multiple regression analysis of these traits was calculated and five wild emmer accessions showed high salt tolerance, which could be used as valuable resource for wheat salt tolerance improvement. Furthermore, wild emmer genotypes showed wider trait performance variation compared to durum wheat, indicating the higher genetic diversity in wild emmer wheat. Then, shoot Na+ content, shoot K+/Na+ ratio, root length and root surface area were identified as suitable indexes for salt tolerance evaluation. Na+ exclusion mechanism was found to be playing an important role in response to salt stress in emmer wheat. The salt tolerance in emmer wheat was systematically characterized here, which not only provided the elite germplasm for wheat improvement, but also provided the efficient method and some useful indexes for salt tolerance assessing.


Emmer wheat Salt tolerance Na+ K+/Na+ ratio Multiple regression analysis 



Salt tolerance index based on TWD


Chlorophyll content (SPAD-values)


Tiller number


Shoot dry weight (g)


Root dry weight (g)


Total dry weight (g)


Root/shoot ratio


Shoot fresh weight (g)


Root fresh weight (g)


Total fresh weight (g)


Relative water content of shoot (%)


Relative water content of root (%)


Relative water content (%)


Root length (cm)


Root surface area (cm2)


Root diameter (mm)


Root volume (cm3)


Specific root length (cm g−1)


Specific root surface area (cm2 g−1)


Tissue density of root (g/cm3)


Photosynthetic rate [μmol (CO2) m−2 s−1)


Transpiration rate (mmol m−2 s−1)


Stomatal conductance [μmol (H2O) m−2 s−1]


Internal CO2 concentration (μmol mol−1)


Water use efficiency of leaf (μmol mol−1)


K+ content of shoot (mg g−1)


Na+ content of shoot (mg g−1)


K+ content of root (mg g−1)


Na+ content of root (mg g−1)


K+/Na+ ratio of shoot


K+/Na+ ratio of root



All authors are grateful to Dr. Pingchuan Deng for his help on root data collection and also thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable and constructive comments. This work was mainly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31401373 and 31571647), and partially supported and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (Grant No. 2452015003).

Author contributions

FKW and CLC performed the whole experiments, statistical analysis and also wrote the paper. LSZ contributed to trait investigation and manuscript revision. BJX and WM contributed to greenhouse work and Na+ and K+ content measurement. SWN reviewed the manuscript. NXJ conceived this study and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

10725_2017_337_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1241 KB)
10725_2017_337_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (145 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 144 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kewei Feng
    • 1
  • Licao Cui
    • 1
  • Shuzuo Lv
    • 3
  • Jianxin Bian
    • 1
  • Meng Wang
    • 1
  • Weining Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaojun Nie
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology in Arid Areas, College of Agronomy and Yangling Branch of China Wheat Improvement CenterNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Abiotic and Biotic Stress Management in Agriculture, Horticulture and ForestryYanglingChina
  3. 3.Institute of BiotechnologyLuoyang Academy of Agriculture and Forestry ScienceLuoyangChina

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