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Xin Song, Suo-min Wang and Yiwei Jiang

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.

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Xiujie Yin, Chao Zhang, Xin Song and Yiwei Jiang

Waterlogging can occur in salt-affected turfgrass sites. The objective of this study was to characterize growth and carbohydrate, lipid peroxidation, and nutrient levels in the leaves and roots of two perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) cultivars (Catalina and Inspire) to short-term simultaneous waterlogging and salinity stress. Previous research showed that ‘Catalina’ was relatively more tolerant to salinity but less tolerant to submergence than ‘Inspire’. Both cultivars were subjected to 3 and 7 days of waterlogging (W), salinity [S (300 mm NaCl)], and a combination of the two stresses (WS). Across the two cultivars, W alone had little effect on the plants, while both S and WS alone significantly decreased plant height (HT), leaf fresh weight (LFW), leaf dry weight (LDW), root fresh weight (RFW), root dry weight (RDW), leaf nitrogen (LN) and carbon (LC), and leaf and root K+ (RK+), and increased leaf water-soluble carbohydrate (LWSC) and root water-soluble carbohydrate (RWSC), malondialdehyde (MDA), and Na+ content, compared with the control. A decline in chlorophyll content (Chl) was found only at 7 days of WS. Leaf phosphorus (LP) content either decreased or remained unchanged but root phosphorus content increased under S and WS. Reductions in LFW and LDW were found at 3 days of S and WS, whereas RFW and RDW were unaffected until 7 days of S or WS. Both cultivars responded similarly to W, S, and WS with a few exceptions on RDW, LWSC, leaf MDA (LMDA), and root MDA (RMDA). Although WS caused declines in Chl and resulted in higher leaf Na+ (LNa+) and root Na+ (RNa+) than S at 7 days of treatment, S and WS had similar effects on growth, carbohydrate, MDA, N, C, and phosphorus, and K+ content across the two cultivars. The results suggested that S alone largely accounted for the negative effects of WS on plant growth and physiology including alteration of carbohydrate and nutrient content as well as induction of lipid peroxidation.