Salinity and climate change are major threats that affect crop productivity in arid and semi-arid fields globally. Sorghum is a climate smart crop but wide range of sorghum genotypes grown is sensitive to salt. Sorghum was screened for salt tolerance using sodium chloride (NaCl) at different concentrations. There were 250 evaluated sorghum genotypes using factorial arrangement in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with 4 levels of NaCl concentrations (0, 3, 5 and 7) dSm-1 and three replications. Germinated seeds were determined on the 4th day after planting and transferred to nutrient saturated plastic cups in a greenhouse. Data on root hair numbers, root and shoot length were taken on the 6th day after transplanting. Data were subjected to R4.2.0 for ANOVA and SPSS V. 20.0 for cluster analysis. There were significant differences in root hair numbers, root length and shoot length among the genotypes and salt levels (P ≤0.001). Pearson correlation coefficient showed a high positive correlation (P ≤ 0.001) between root length and root hair numbers. The results revealed presence of tolerance among local sorghum genotypes with promise for use in crop improvement.
Key words: Climate change, salinity, tolerance, root length, root hairs.
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