Salinity being a serious limitation to crop production is an established fact since ages. It has adversely affected the adaptive behavior of our field crops particularly at seed germination and seedling stages. Identification of particular plant traits conferring salinity tolerance is important for inducing genetic variation among the target traits and adjusting the selection pressure for them in field. This experimental study was conducted to explore percent (%) weight loss of roots and shoots at increasing salt stresses (control, 10 dS m-1 and 15 dS m-1) along with certain dry weight and cationic ratio tolerance indices. The experiment was conducted in the glasshouse to screen seedlings of 25 tomato genotypes. Principal component analysis and correlation analysis were used to screen the genotypes for variability and salt tolerance. Based on associative interactions for salt tolerance traits and highly negative response towards weight percent (%) reductions, three genotypes were identified as salt tolerant; BEAVER LODGE SLICER, ZARNITZA, and FORME DE COEUR. Two genotypes GLACIER and Rio-GRANDE were highly positive for K+/Na+ and Ca2+/Na+ ratios tolerance indices. Based on these findings, the genotypes BEAVER LODGE SLICER, ZARNITZA and FORME DE COEUR are suggested to be planted in salt affected area. The six genotypes (ANAHU, LO-2707, 17860, UOVO ROSEO, NAGINA and LA-2821) showed significant negative behavior towards weight % reduction, and a little positive towards salt tolerance indices were considered as moderately salt tolerant.
Key words: Weight percent reduction, NaCl, tomato seedling, physio-agronomic, salt tolerance.
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