Increased production of sugar beet under rainfed conditions on saline–sodic soils in the Iranian areas highlights the importance of salt tolerant varieties. Screening of genotypes for salinity tolerance is difficult in field due to heterogeneity of physical and chemical properties of soil. In order to evaluate the salinity tolerance of 21 sugar beet monogerm O-types lines, a pot experiment was conducted using a split plot design. The evaluation of plants was performed using 11 morphological and physiological traits at vegetative growth stage under severe salt stress (∼16 dS m-1) and control (0.3 dS m-1) for 8 weeks. Salinity stress significantly reduced weight related traits. The response of genotypes for total weights and stem weights was very similar under both conditions. But, ranking of O-type lines for root weights under normal and stress condition was different. Indeed, there was high significant genotype × treat interaction for two these traits. Cluster analysis by using STI index of all traits allowed the identification of tolerant, moderate tolerant and sensitive genotypes toward salinity. The four salt-tolerant genotypes, O-type 9669, O-type 1609, O-type 463-2, and O-type 463-5 identified in this study, could be used in the development of salt-tolerant sugar beet varieties. In the second part of this study in order to assess a simple, rapid, and nondestructive method to estimate chlorophyll content, the chlorophyll meter (SPAD 502) readings were recorded and the relation was determined. Regression analysis indicated that there was a signiﬁcant linear regression between chlorophyll content and chlorophyll meter and about 74% of changes in chlorophyll meter based on chlorophyll content were predicted.
Key words: Sugar beet (beta vulgaris L.), salt tolerant index, screening, hybrid.
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