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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Responses of Bermudagrass to Salinity


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 67 No. 5, p. 678-681
    Received: Nov 11, 1974

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  1. R. C. Ackerson and
  2. V. B. Youngner2



Bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) are salt-tolerant grasses valuable for forage and turf. Experiments were conducted to determine specific responses to increasing salinity to provide a basis for breeding of more salt tolerant, agronomically desirable strains. The cultivar ‘Santa Ana’ (Cynodon hybrid) was grown in solution cultures containing increasing levels of NaCl and CaCl2 or K2SO4. Dry weight of tops decreased while dry weight of roots and total nonstructural carbohydrate concentrations of crowns, but not roots, increased with increased salinity of the culture solution. Net photosynthesis rates were not affected by high levels of NaCl and CaCl2 or K2SO4, although leaf water and osmotic potentials were decreased. Increased concentrations of Na+ and Ca2+ were observed in tops and roots corresponding with decreased concentrations of K+ and Mg2+ when NaCl and CaCl2 were used in the culture solution. When K2SO4 was used to adjust the solution osmotic potential, K2 concentrations were increased in tops and roots while Ca2+ and Mg2+ were decreased. Salinity tolerance of bermudagrass may be facilitated by shunting of photosynthate from top growth to root growth and carbohydrate storage, osmotic adjustment through ionic substitution and re-distribution, or increased concentration of organic acids in the cell sap.

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