Salinity which affected approximately 7% of the world’s total land area is one of the factors which reduce productivity of sorghum. Exploiting genetic variability to identify salt tolerant genotype is one of the strategies used to overcome salinity. Petri dish experiment was conducted to evaluate the response of eleven sorghum genotypes for NaCl salinity tolerance at germination and early seedling stages. The experimental treatments included five NaCl salinity levels (0, 2, 4, 8, and 16 dS m-1) and eleven sorghum genotypes. The experimental design was completely randomized design with three replicates. Data was analyzed using statistical analysis system (SAS) (version 9.0) statistical software. Germination rate, final germination percentage, seedling shoot length and seedling root length were measured. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) for treatments, genotypes and their interaction was found to be highly significant (p<0.001) with regard to all parameters. Genotype ICSV-111 showed greater salt tolerance during germination stages while Teshale and 76T1#23 were better salt tolerant during seedling growth stages. However, genotypes ESH-2 and 97MW6130 were found to be salt sensitive based on all parameters. All parameters measured showed to have an inverse relationship with increase in NaCl salinity levels. The study affirmed presence of wide genotypic variation among the sorghum genotypes for NaCl salt tolerance.
Key words: Germination, NaCl, salinity tolerance, seedling growth, sorghum genotypes.
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