Germination and Seedling Growth of Perennial Ryegrasses in Soluble Salts

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Garald L. HorstTexas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 1380 A&M Circle, El Paso, TX 79927

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Nancy B. DunningTexas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 1380 A&M Circle, El Paso, TX 79927

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Abstract

A laboratory experiment was conducted with seeds of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cultivars germinating and growing on floating mats in saline hydroponic solutions. This study was done to determine the relative intraspecific salt resistances of 48 perennial ryegrasses during germination and seedling growth in saline solutions. Total germination, germination rate, leaf blade length, root length, and total seedling fresh and dry weight were measured after 21 days. Test solutions prepared from deionized water and equal quantities of NaCl and CaCl2 by weight consisted of 11.6 (low), 19.5 (medium), and 23.5 dS·m−1 (high) salinity. Cultivars had highly significant total germination and germination rate responses to salt stress. Seedling growth responses as measured by blade and root length and weights were also significant. A hydroponic medium with a salt concentration of 23.4 dS·m−1 should provide a suitable stress level for screening ryegrass genotypes for improved germination and seedling salt resistance. At the high salinity level, cultivars that average less than a 50% reduction in growth parameters relative to high-yielding cultivars should be considered. Broad-sense heritability estimates indicate that seedling dry and fresh weight and germination rate would be valuable criteria for use in selection of perennial ryegrasses for salt resistance.

Contributor Notes

Associate Professor.

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Received for publication 14 Dec. 1987. Contribution no. TA21350 from the Texas Agr. Expt. Sta. Texas A&M Univ., College Station. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

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