Screening and Selection of Twenty Iranian Wheatgrass Genotypes for Tolerance to Salinity Stress during Seed Germination and Seedling Growth Stage

Sheikh-Mohamadi, M.-H.; Etemadi, N.; Nikbakht, A.; Farajpour, M.; Arab, M.; Majidi, M.M.

HortScience 52(8): 1125-1134

2017


ISSN/ISBN: 0018-5345
DOI: 10.21273/hortsci12103-17
Accession: 070822071

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Abstract
Desert wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum L.), tall wheatgrass (Agropyron elongatum L.), and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) are native cool-season grass species that exhibit potential as a low-input turfgrass. An increased understanding of the biochemical and physiological responses of wheatgrass species and genotypes to salt stress conditions is important for developing genotypes with enhanced tolerance to salinity. The objective of this study was to characterize the physiological and antioxidative properties in 20 Iranian wheatgrass genotypes and to observe their responses to salinity stress during seed germination and seedling growth stage. A completely randomized factorial design was used with two types of factors, four levels of salinity (0, 50, 100, and 150 mM of NaCl), wheatgrass genotypes, and three replicates. In this experiment, the results demonstrated that salinity limits the germination of Iranian wheatgrass genotype seeds. The result of this study showed that among the wheatgrass genotypes, 'AD1', 'AD3,' 'AC6', and 'FA' took the shortest average time to germinate. Higher levels of final germination percentage (FGP) were observed in 'AD2', 'AD3', and 'AE5' under salinity stress than other genotypes throughout the experiment. During a prolonged period of study, 'AD1' had greater rate of germination (GR) than other genotypes. Out of the 21 genotypes, five genotypes ('AD1', 'AD2', 'AD3', 'AE5', and 'FA' genotypes) were in the range of "salinity tolerant genotypes" cluster. The 'AD1', 'AD2', 'AD3', 'AE5', and 'FA' genotypes generally performed better than other genotypes under salinity conditions, mainly through maintaining higher enzymatic activities such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) (EC 1.15.1.1), catalase (CAT) (EC 1.11.1.6), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) (EC 1.11.1.11) and peroxidase (POD) (EC 1.111.1.7), and nonenzymatic antioxidant activities by glutathione (GSH). The 'AD1', 'AD2', 'AD3', 'AE5', and 'FA' genotypes also had higher proline levels and more of total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) content, lower malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and lower hydrogen peroxide content (H2O2).