Effect of Salinity on Growth and Yield of Desi and Kabuli Chickpea Cultivars
To evaluate the effects of different level of Na salinity
(0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1) on growth, yield and yield component
of Kabuli (Hashem and Jam) and Desi (Kaka and Pirooz) chickpea cultivars
a factorial experiment based on randomized complete block design with
four replications was carried out in Research Greenhouse of Mokrian Agricultural
Extension Center near Mahabad, Iran at 2006.Seeds of four chickpea cultivars
were grown under 0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1 levels of salinity until
maturity. Salinity reduced the plant growth, flower, pod and seed number
and seed weight. As increase in salinity, the undesirable effect of Na+
was more pronounced and reached the highest value at 9 dS m-1
in all cultivars. Four chickpea cultivar have different responses to salinity
and the Kabuli cultivars seemed to have a greater capacity for salt tolerance
compared to Desi cultivars. Hahshem cultivar has the highest salinity
tolerance among all cultivars.
Worldwide, about one-third of irrigated arable is already
affected and that level is still rising (Lazof and Bernstein, 1997). Salinity
occurs through natural or human-induced activities that result in the
accumulation of soluble salt in soil and the problem of soil salinity
is expected to boost in future with the progress of decertification process
and greenhouse effect (Tejera et al., 2006).
Chickpea is one of the most important grain legumes which
traditionally cultivated in marginal areas and saline soils (Rao et
al., 2002). The agronomical importance of chickpea is based on its
high protein content (25.3-28.9%) in human and animal diet (Hulse, 1991).
Chickpea cultivars which are grown in Iran include native (Desi) or Mediterranean
(Kabuli) types (Koocheki and Avel, 2004). Chickpea is highly sensitive
to salinity, similar to many other leguminous crops (Ashraf and Waheed,
Salinity adversely affects plant growth and development
(Lazof and Bernstein, 1997). Salinity drastically affects photosynthesis
(Seeman and Sharkey, 1986;Soussi et al., 1998), nitrogen (Cordovilla
et al., 1995; Mansour, 2000) and carbon metabolism (Delgado et
al., 1994; Soussi et al., 1999; Balibrea et al., 2000).
Salinity causes nutritional disorders in plants which may lead to deficiencies
of several nutrients and drastically increasing in Na+ levels
(Cordovilla et al., 1995; Grattan and Grieve, 1999; Mengel and
Kirkby, 2001). Such physiological changes will result in a decrease in
plant growth (Mensah et al., 2006) and consequently in crop yield.
The ability of plants for tolerance and thrive in saline
soil condition has a great importance in agriculture, which indicates
the salinity tolerances capacity of plant as a desirable trait (Francois
and Mass, 1994; Mahmood et al., 2000). Hence selection and breeding
of cultivars that can grow and provide economical yield under saline conditions
may be an efficient tool in resolving the salinity problems (Ashraf and
McNeilly, 2004). The aim of this research was comparing the growth and
yield responses of Kabuli and Desi chickpea cultivars to salinity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
In order to comparing the responses of Desi and Kabuli chickpea
cultivars to Na+ salinity a factorial experiment based on randomized
complete block design with four replications was carried out in Research
Greenhouse of Mokrian Agricultural Extension Center near Mahabad, Iran
at 2006. The experimental factors were chickpea cultivars Hashem and Jam
(Kabuli) and Kaka and Pirooz (Desi) and different level of Na+ salinity
solution with electrical conductivity levels 0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1.
Seed of Desi type were obtained from Iran Agricultural research Organization.
At first seeds were sterilized in 5% sodium hypo chlorite solution for
8 min (Ashraf and Waheed, 1993). In this study, 40 seed from each cultivar
were sown in pots. Each pot was filled with mixture of soil, sand and
farmyard manure in proportion of 2:2:1 by volume. Primarily before sowing
of seeds in order to obtain the desirable salinity level the pots were
irrigated with different salinity solutions in 3 consecutive days. The
pots were irrigated with desired salinity levels throughout the growing
period of crop at regular weekly intervals. The electrical conductivities
of different salinity levels were adjusted on direct conductivity meter
readings. The control pots were irrigated with normal water. Three plants
with similar growth rate were maintained in each pot. With the onset of
flowering 12 uniform plants from each treatment were marked for recording
the number of flowers produced on 3 days interval. The number of flowers,
pods and seed per plant and were recorded. At harvest, the same plants
were used and the number of pods and seeds per plant, seed weight per
plant were recorded. Yield was obtained from multiply seed number per
plant and plant number per m2 and the changing in hectare.
Total dry weight of plants were taken at 105 days after sowing by drying
the samples in an electric oven for 72 h at 70°C.
Data obtained from this experiment were subjected to analyses
of variance using SAS and SPSS statistical soft wares. The graphs were
drawn using EXCEL software.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Salinity reduced plant growth in all cultivars (Fig.
1). Munns (2003) stated that suppression of plant growth under saline
conditions may either be due to decreasing the availability to water or
increasing in sodium chloride toxicity associated with increasing salinity.
Also Salinity adversely affects plant growth and development (Lazof and
Bernstein, 1997). In plants, salinity drastically affects photosynthesis
(Seeman and Sharkey, 1986; Soussi et al., 1998), nitrogen metabolism
(Cordovilla et al., 1995; Mansour, 2000) carbon metabolism (Delgado
et al., 1994; Soussi et al., 1999;Balibrea et al.,
2000) and provokes disorders in plant nutrition which may lead to deficiencies
of several nutrients and high levels of Na+ (Cordovilla et
al., 1995; Grattan and Grieve, 1999;Mengel and Kirkby, 2001). Such
physiological changes will result in a decrease in plant growth (Mensah
et al., 2006) and consequently in crop yield. The reduction in
growth was visible at saline level of 3 dS m-1, but became
more pronounced at 9 dS m-1 salinity level. Under control condition
and different saline levels Hashem, Jam, Kaka and Pirooz had highest total
dry weight, respectively. In other words, the Kabuli types produced more
total dry weight compared to Desi types.
Negative effects of salinity on plant growth had a direct
effect on ultimate plant productivity (total plant dry mass accumulation,
grain yield etc.) (Fig. 2a, b, 3a,
b and 4). Salinity reduced the number
of flowers and pods
Effect of different salinity
levels (0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1) on total dry weight
(g plant-1) in four chickpea cultivars (Hashem, Jam,
Kaka and Pirooz)
Effect of different salinity
levels (0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1) on flower number (a)
and pod number (b) per plant, in four chickpea cultivars (Hashem,
Jam, Kaka and Pirooz)
per plants in all cultivars. As increase in salinity until 9 dS m-1
became more pronounced in all cultivars. Hashem
and Pirooz cultivars have the greatest and lowest flower and pod production
compared to the other cultivars under control and saline conditions, respectively
). Hayat et al
were reported that salinity reduced the number of flowers and pods in
six chickpea genotypes.
Effect of different salinity
levels (0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1) on seed number (a)
and seed weight (g plant-1) (b) in four chickpea
cultivars (Hashem, Jam, Kaka and Pirooz)
show that seed number
and seed weight more severely affected by salinity in all chickpea cultivars.
With increase in salt concentration from 3 to 9 dS m-1
was a sharp decrease in seed number and seed weight. This reduction in
Kabuli cultivars (Kaka and Pirooz) was more pronounced in comparison to
Desi cultivars (Hashem and Jam). The main reason for this reduction is
mostly attributed to decrease in photosynthesis, nitrogen metabolism and
carbon metabolism under saline conditions (Tejera et al
The highest seed number and seed weight have belonged to Hashem and Jam
cultivars, under control and saline conditions.
Yields were affected by salinity in all chickpea cultivars,
so that increasing salt concentration, decreased yield of all the cultivars
(Fig. 4). Sadiki and Rabih (2001) stated that the salt
reduced yield by 26 to 38% according to genotypes. Salinity drastically
affects photosynthesis (Seeman and Sharkey, 1986; Soussi et al.,
1998), nitrogen metabolism (Cordovilla et al., 1995; Mansour, 2000)
carbon metabolism (Delgado et al., 1994; Soussi et al.,
1999; Balibrea et al., 2000) and provokes disorders in plant nutrition
which may lead to deficiencies of several nutrients and high levels of
Na+ (Cordovilla et al., 1995;
Effect of different salinity
levels (0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1) on yield (t h-1)
in four chickpea cultivars (Hashem, Jam, Kaka and Pirooz)
Grattan and Grieve, 1999; Mengel and Kirkby, 2001), that
in our research were resulted to create a cumulative effect of various
factors like decline in number of flowers, pod setting, the number of
ovules fertilized and nurtured into healthy seed and thus the number of
seeds per pod and seed weight that induced decreasing crop yield, ultimately.
These results about crop yield reduction under salinity are consistent
with previous findings (Bishnoi et al., 1990;Sharma et al.,
1993). Hashem and Jam cultivars (Kabuli types) have higher yield in comparison
to Kaka and Pirooz cultivars (Desi types) in the saline and non-saline
These results showed that decrease in various yield parameters
was more sever in Desi cultivars in comparison to Kabuli types, under
control and saline conditions, which may be related to lower total plant
dry mass accumulation in Desi cultivars. Dua and Sharma (1995) also stated
that the Kabuli types have been found to be more tolerant of salinity
than the Desi types.
The results suggest that different salinity levels, decline
the growth and yields of different chickpea cultivars. This reduction
is different in various cultivars, but with increasing salinity, become
more sever in all cultivars. In general, both Kabuli cultivars seemed
to have a greater capacity for salt tolerance compared to the Desi cultivars.
Hashem cultivar was the best amongst all cultivars that could be more
noticed by experts of plant breeding. Determination and identifying the
tolerant chickpea cultivars to salinity that give minimum depression in
yield when grown in saline soils may be an efficient tool in resolving
the salinity problem to some extent.
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