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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Heritability of NaCl Tolerance in Germinating Alfalfa Seeds1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 77 No. 1, p. 99-101
    Received: Oct 3, 1983

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  1. S. G. Allen,
  2. A. K. Dobrenz,
  3. M. H. Schonhorst and
  4. J. E. Stoner2



A major limitation to crop production throughout much of the world is soil salinity, which is increased by irrigation and fertilization. One way to better utilize saline soils is to grow salt tolerant crops. The objective of this research was the development of salt tolerance in germinating alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) seeds. Five cycles of mass selection for NaCl tolerance during seed germination were conducted in the cv. Mesa-Sirsa. Standard germination techniques were employed using blotter paper saturated with NaCl solutions of five different concentrations at a temperature of 26° C. The osmotic potential of the NaCl solution needed to produce 1% seed germination decreased from −1.40 to −2.45 MPa during the five cycles of selection. Germination at −1.30 MPa osmotic potential increased from 3% for the source population to 86% for the fifth cycle of selection. The broad sense heritability estimate for NaCl tolerance during seed germination, averaged over all cycles of selection and five levels of osmotic potential, was 50%. Significant progress was made in the development of salt tolerance in germinating alfalfa.

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