This study aimed to evaluate the initial growth and tolerance of eggplant cultivars under saline water irrigation. The experiment was carried out in protected environment (greenhouse) at the Federal University of Campina Grande - UFCG, located in the municipality of Pombal-PB, Brazil. The experiment was set in a completely randomized design, in a 2 × 5 factorial scheme, corresponding to two eggplant cultivars (C1 - ‘Comprida Roxa’ and C2 - ‘Preta Comprida/Enbu’) and five levels of irrigation water salinity (0.6, 1.2, 1.8, 2.4 and 3.0 dS m-1), with four replication and five plants per replication. Plants were grown for 30 days on trays with 30 cells, with capacity for 0.1 dm3 of substrate, monitored in relation to emergence, growth and phytomass accumulation, and evaluated with respect to the salinity tolerance index. Emergence, growth and dry matter accumulation of eggplant cultivars were negatively affected by the increase in irrigation water salinity. The cultivar ‘Comprida Roxa’ showed higher tolerance to irrigation water salinity in comparison to ‘Preta Comprida/Enbu’.
Key words: Solanum melongena L., irrigation, saline water, plant emergence.
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