Large variation for salinity tolerance in the core collection of foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) germplasm uri icon

abstract

  • Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) is an ideal crop for changing climate and stressed environments due to its short duration, high photosynthetic efficiency and a good level of resistance to pest and diseases. Soil salinization is on the rise with 23% of the global cultivated land already being affected. Foxtail millet can be a potential crop for salt affected soils with its high level of tolerance to salinity. The foxtail millet core collection (n=156) was screened in a soil saturated once with 100 mM NaCl and a non-saline control in 2008 and a subset (n=84) in 2009 in a partly-controlled environment using Alfisol (clayey-skeletal, mixed, iso-hyperthermic family of Udic Rhodustalfs with sandy clay loam to clay type neutral soils) to identify the best salt tolerant germplasm. Plants were grown in pots and protected from rains. The salinity response was measured as grain yield per pot. Genotype and salinity A genotype interaction effects were significant for most traits, and there was a large range of yield and biomass variation across the accessions. Salinity delayed panicle emergence and maturity, and reduced shoot biomass by 24 to 41% and grain yield by 7 to 30%. Salinity did not reduce harvest index. Among the plant components stem biomass was reduced most by salinity. There was a large range of variation in grain yield and other traits among the genotypes in the saline pots. The yield loss by salinity was associated with duration of crop growth and grain yield loss was highest in the early maturing accessions. All the accessions were grouped into five groups based on grain yield under saline conditions, and the top, most highly tolerant, group had 13 accessions. The salinity tolerant accessions can be useful parents once their performance is confirmed under saline field conditions

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014