The best salt solution parameter to describe seed/seedling responses to saline and sodic salts
- 223 Downloads
Background and aims
Results of studies on plant responses to salt stress often are difficult to compare because different salt parameters were used. Our aim was to compare the effects of different combinations of sodium salts on germination/seedling growth of two forage species and determine which salt solution parameter(s) was(were) most closely related to these responses.
Seeds of the legume Medicago sativa and the grass Elymus dahuricus were germinated in different concentrations of saline and sodic salts. Various parameters of the salt solutions were determined, and seed germination and seedling growth metrics were measured.
Seeds of both species were more tolerant to saline than to sodic salts, and seedlings of E. dahuricus were more salt tolerant than those of M. sativa. Na2SO4 and Na2CO3 were more inhibitory to germination/growth of the two study species than the same concentration of NaCl and NaHCO3 for saline and sodic salts, respectively. For both species, electrical conductivity, salt content (%) and Na+ concentration best correlated with germination/growth for saline salts and Na+ concentration for sodic salts.
In evaluating the effects of salt on seed germination and seedling growth, both saline and sodic salts need to be considered, and Na+ concentration is the best salt solution parameter to use in comparing and communicating the results.
KeywordsEC Na+ pH Saline salts Sodic salts Water potential
Time to start of germination
We thank Ms. Zongying Hu for help with the experiments and Prof. Jerry Baskin for his useful comments on the manuscript. This study was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB150800) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41571055).
- Bao R, Yin P, Dai J, Guo B, Wei Y (2012) Effects of different media on the transplantation of Huperzia serrate (Thunb.) Trev. Afr J Agric Res 7:3045–3048Google Scholar
- Bina F, Bostani A (2017) Effect of salinity (NaCl) stress on germination and early seedling growth of three medicinal plant species. Adv Life Sci 4:77–83Google Scholar
- Gul B, Weber DJ (1999) Effect of salinity, light, and temperature on germination in Allenrolfea occidentalis. Can J Bot 77:240–246Google Scholar
- Hassan MA, Estrelles E, Soriano P, López-Gresa MP, Bellés JM, Boscaiu M, Vicente O (2017) Unraveling salt tolerance mechanisms in halophytes: a comparative study on four Mediterranean Limonium species with different geographic distribution patterns. Front Plant Sci 8:1438CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Lin J, Mu C, Wang Y, Li Z, Li X (2014) Physiological adaptive mechanisms of Leymus chinensis during germination and early seedling stages under saline and alkaline conditions. J Anim Plant Sci 24:904–912Google Scholar
- Lu JM, Zhu JY, Li JD, Zhou DW, Liu JX, Zhao LH (1998) The structure study of four species roots of saline soil in the Songnen plain. Acta Ecol Sin 18:335–337Google Scholar
- Maas EV, Hoffman GJ (1977) Crop salt tolerance-current assessment. J Irrig Drain Div 103:115–134Google Scholar
- Zhang Q, Rue K (2014) Alkalinity showed limited effect on turfgrass germination under low moderate salinity. Hortic Sci 49:1201–1204Google Scholar
- Zhang H, Zhao Y (2011) Effects of different neutral and alkaline salinities on seed germination and early seedling growth of maize (Zea mays L.) Afr J Agric Res 6:3515–3521Google Scholar