Assistant Professor, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran
Assistant Professor, Ghent University, Ghent , Belgium
Crops growing in salt-affected soils may suffer from physiological drought stress, ion toxicity, and mineral deficiency. A pot study was conducted in 2004-2005 in the Aghala area (northern Iran) to study the effect of different salinity levels, i.e. ECe= 3 (control), 8, 12 and 16 dS m-1 on wheat grain, yield components and leaf ion uptake of four Iranian wheat genotypes, i.e. Kouhdasht, Atrak, Rasoul and Tajan. Treatments were replicated three times in a completely randomized design in a factorial arrangement. Desired salinity levels were obtained by mixing adequate NaCl before filling the pots. Soil water was maintained at 70% of available water holding capacity. Results revealed that Kouhdasht and Tajan showed highest and lowest grain yield and its components as compared to other cultivars at different salinity levels. Leaf Na+ and Cl- concentrations of all genotypes increased significantly with increasing soil salinity, with the highest concentrations in Tajan, followed by Rasoul, Atrak and Kouhdasht cultivars, respectively. Highest leaf K+ concentration and K+: Na+ ratio were observed in Kouhdasht cultivar, followed by Atrak, Rasoul and Tajan, respectively. Therefore, Kouhdasht and Atrak were identified as the most salt-tolerant genotypes as compared to two other wheat genotypes.