Salt stress is one of the most adverse abiotic environmental factors that inhibit growth and productivity of plants. This experiment was carried out at physiology laboratory, Addis Ababa University. Sorghum landraces (sorcoll163/07 and sorcoll141/07) were collected with many other landraces from different sorghum growing regions of Ethiopia and they were selected for their stay-green traits and drought tolerance performances. The objective of this study was to evaluate germination potential of sorcoll163/07 and sorcoll141/07 sorghum seeds at different salt concentration levels in order to investigate salinity stress tolerance during germination. Twenty five healthy and uniform seeds were selected and treated using distilled water, 0.5% hypochlorite, and 10% ethanol. Four levels of salt concentrations (50, 100, 150 and 200 mM) and control with three replications were kept in completely randomized design (CRD). Higher germination percentage was recorded from 50 mM salinity from both sorghum landraces. Highest germination percentage of sorcoll163/07 and sorcoll141/07 were 96 and 98.6, respectively from 50 mM salinity level which was higher than the control; however, germination percentage was declined as the salt concentration increases. There was a significant p≤0.001 difference between root and shoot length, fresh root weight, as well as dry root and dry shoot biomass of two sorghum landraces between control experiment at 100, 150 and 200 mM salinity level, otherwise no significant difference was observed between the control and 50 mM salt concentration. Generally, sorcoll141/07 showed a higher germination percentage and had a higher root length, fresh weight and dry root weight than sorcoll163/07 even at 200 mM of NaCl level.
Key words: Biomass, germination percentage, salinity, sodium chloride, sorghum landraces.
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