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Brazilian Journal of Botany

Print version ISSN 0100-8404On-line version ISSN 1806-9959


COSTA, Paulo Henrique A. et al. Growth and organic and inorganic solute contents in NaCl-stressed cultivars of Vigna unguiculata. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2003, vol.26, n.3, pp.289-297. ISSN 0100-8404.

The effects of NaCl-salinity on growth and on organic and inorganic solute contents were analyzed in seven cowpea cultivars grown in a greenhouse. The test plants were cultivated in a nutrient solution in which at day 14 after sowing NaCl was added for three consecutive days in 25 mM concentration to a total of 75 mM. Control plants remained in the nutrient solution and harvesting was done at day 33. Salt stress reduced the dry mass of all cultivars, however the Pitiúba and Vita 5 were the most tolerant whereas TVU the most sensible. Leaf suculence and the sclerose index correlated well with the salt tolerance degree but increased significantly with the increasing salt concentration only in the most tolerant cultivars. By contrast, root/shoot dry mass increased only in the less tolerant cultivars. Overall, shoot content of both Na+ and Cl- increased in response to salinity but accumulated drastically only in the more sensible cultivars, particularly in TVU. In leaves, K+ content was higher than Na+ and Cl- contents but none of there were significantly affected by the salt stress. Consequently the Na+/K+ ratio was higher in the most sensible cultivars. This may represent an important factor for the growth reduction observed in the stressed plants. With regard to proline, soluble carbohydrate and N-amino solutes were not related among their contents and the degree of NaCl tolerance in the cultivars used in the study.

Keywords : growth; organic and inorganic solutes; salinity; Vigna unguiculata.

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