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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


AQUINO, Alexandre José Silva de et al. Growth, dry mass partitioning, and Na+, K+, and Cl- retention by two sorghum genotypes irrigated with saline water. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2007, vol.31, n.5, pp.961-971. ISSN 1806-9657.

The mechanisms for salt tolerance are complex and depend upon physiological and anatomical changes occurring in the whole-plant. This research aimed at evaluating ion retention, vegetative growth, and dry matter partitioning by two forage sorghum genotypes [Sorghum Bicolor (L.) Moench] irrigated with saline water. Selected seeds were sown in plastic pots containing 12 kg a sandy Argisol and grown under greenhouse conditions. The experiment was in completely randomized with treatments arranged in a 2 x 5 factorial design, consisting of two genotypes (CSF 18, sensitive and CSF 20, tolerant) and five levels of increasing salinity (0.5, 2.0 , 4.0, 6.0 and 8.0 dS m-1), with four replicates. The treatments (salinity water) application began five days after seeds emergence. On the forty-fourth day after the salt water applications began plants were harvested and evaluated for the following characteristics: dry mass production, dry mass partitioning, root distribution into pots, and Na+, K+ and Cl- contents. Salinity reduced leaf area and dry mass production of shoots and roots; the reduction in shoot growth was highest in the CSF 18 genotype. Salinity also altered carbon partitioning in both genotypes and caused an increase in source/sink ratio, which may contribute to plant acclimation to salt stress. Sorghum plants presented an efficient mechanism of Na+ retention, avoiding excessive accumulation in leaf tissues. However, this mechanism caused a certain dehydration degree in the leaves. Among the studied parameters, potassium leaf content and retention of sodium ions in the stem were highest in genotype CSF 20 (tolerant).

Keywords : salt stress; salt tolerance; Sorghum bicolor; carbon partitioning.

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