Salt Tolerance of Australian Channel Millet1
- M. C. Shannon,
- E. L. Wheeler and
- R. M. Saunders
Undomesticated plant species may be a valuable resource for increasing crop diversity and developing crops for use in semiarid and saline areas. Australian channel millet (Echinochloa turnerana (Domin) J. M. Black) is very drought tolerant; however, its salt tolerance has not been tested. In drum culture studies, conducted in the greenhouse, plant height, weight, and seed grain weight were measured as a function of saline stress. Concentrations of Na, Ca, and Cl in leaves and stems increased as soil salinity increased. At salinities above 1.5 S m−1, E. turnerana is as salt tolerant as bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.). The grain yield by E. turnerana was decreased by 50% by 2.4 S m−1 salinity; whereas, previous studies have shown that proportionate grain yield reductions of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) occur at 1.1 and 1.8 S m−1, respectively. E. Turnerana has high salt tolerance as either a grain or forage crop, and as a forage displays superior digestibility. This species could be exploited for future use on marginal lands.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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