Novel screening protocol for precise phenotyping of salt-tolerance at reproductive stage in rice
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The present study reports an unequivocal and improved protocol for efficient screening of salt tolerance at flowering stage in rice, which can aid phenotyping of population for subsequent identification of QTLs associated with salinity stress, particularly at reproductive stage. To validate the new method, the selection criteria, level and time of imposition of stress; plant growth medium were standardized using three rice genotypes. The setup was established with a piezometer placed in a perforated pot for continuous monitoring of soil EC and pH throughout the period of study. Further, fertilizer enriched soil was partially substituted by gravels for stabilization and maintaining the uniformity of soil EC in pots without hindering its buffering capacity. The protocol including modified medium (Soil:Stone, 4:1) at 8 dS m−1 salinity level was validated using seven different genotypes possessing differential salt sensitivity. Based on the important selection traits such as high stability index for plant yield, harvest index and number of grains/panicle and also high K+ concentration and low Na+– K+ ratio in flag leaf at grain filling stage were validated and employed in the evaluation of a mapping population in the modified screening medium. The method was found significantly efficient for easy maintenance of desired level of soil salinity and identification of genotypes tolerant to salinity at reproductive stage.
KeywordsSalinity tolerance Screening technique Flowering stage Rice Modified system
Plant height (cm)
Panicle length (cm)
Days to 50% flowering
Plant yield (g)
Number of grains/plant
Spikelet degeneration (%)
Spikelet sterility (%)
Spikelet fertility (%)
Straw weight (g)
Electrical conductivity (dS m−1)
Yield stability index
K+ concentration (µg/ml)
Na+ concentration (µg/ml)
The financial support provided by the Director, ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack and the National Innovation on Climate Resilient Agriculture project (NICRA, ICAR), New Delhi, India are thankfully acknowledged.
KC, AKN, BCM, AP and RKS performed the experiments. KC, AKN, KoC, and RKS discussed the results. KC, KoC and AKN wrote the article. All authors have approved the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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