Genotypic Variations in Plant Growth and Nutritional Elements of Perennial Ryegrass Accessions under Salinity Stress

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is a popular cool-season and forage grass around the world. Salinity stress may cause nutrient disorders that influence the growth and physiology of perennial ryegrass. The objective of this study was to identify the genotypic variations in growth traits and nutrient elements in relation to salinity tolerance in perennial ryegrass. Eight accessions of perennial ryegrass [PI265351 (Chile), PI418707 (Romania), PI303012 (UK), PI303033 (The Netherlands), PI545593 (Turkey), PI577264 (UK), PI610927 (Tunisia), and PI632590 (Morocco)] were subjected to 0 (control, no salinity) and 300 mm NaCl for 10 d in a greenhouse. Across accessions, salinity stress decreased plant height (HT), leaf fresh weight (LFW), leaf dry weight (LDW), leaf water concentration (LWC), and concentration of N, C, Ca2+, Cu2+, K+, Mg2+, and K+/Na+ ratio and increased Na+ concentration. Negative correlations were found between C and Na+, whereas positive correlations of K+/Na+ with C and N were found under salinity treatment. The principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the first, second, and third principal components explained 40.2%, 24.9%, and 13.4% variations of all traits, respectively. Based on loading values from PCA analysis, LWC, Na+ concentration, and K+/Na+ ratio were chosen to evaluate salinity tolerance of accessions, and eight accessions were divided into the tolerant, moderate, and sensitive groups. The tolerant group had relatively higher LWC and K+/Na+ ratio and concentrations of C, P, and Fe2+ and lower Na+ concentrations than the other two groups, especially the sensitive groups. The result suggested that lower Na+ accumulation and higher K+/Na+ ratio and LWC were crucial strategies for achieving salinity tolerance of perennial ryegrass.

Contributor Notes

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31730093). Xin Song was supported by the China Scholarship Council.

Corresponding author. E-mail: yjiang@purdue.edu.

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    Separation of perennial ryegrass accessions differing in sensitivities to salinity stress based on leaf water content (LWC) and Na+ concentration and LWC and K+/Na+ ratio under 300 mm NaCl. Number represents each individual accession. T, M, and S represent the tolerant, moderately tolerant, and sensitive accessions, respectively.

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    Plant height (HT), leaf dry weight (LDW), leaf water content (LWC), and carbon concentration of perennial ryegrass as affected by 300 mm NaCl in the salinity tolerance group (T), moderately tolerant group (M), and the sensitive group (S) by split-plot analysis of variance. Comparisons are made between the control and salinity treatments. Means followed by the same letter within a group are not significantly different at P < 0.05. Bars indicate SD.

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    Concentration of Na+ and K+/Na+ ratio of perennial ryegrass as affected by 300 mm NaCl treatment in the salinity tolerance group (T), moderately tolerant group (M), and the sensitive group (S) by split-plot analysis of variance. Comparisons are made among the three groups. Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at P < 0.05. Bars indicate SD.

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    Concentration of P, C, Ca2+, and Mg2+ of perennial ryegrass as affected by 300 mm NaCl treatment in the salinity tolerance group (T), moderately tolerant group (M), and the sensitive group (S) by split-plot analysis of variance. Comparisons are made between the control and salinity treatments. Means followed by the same letter within a group are not significantly different at P < 0.05. Bars indicate SD.

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    Concentration of Fe, Mn2+, and Mo2+ of perennial ryegrass as affected by 300 mm NaCl treatment in the salinity tolerance group (T), moderately tolerant group (M), and the sensitive group (S) by split-plot analysis of variance. Comparisons are made between the control and salinity treatments. Means followed by the same letter within a group are not significantly different at P < 0.05. Bars indicate SD.

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