Growth of Wheat and Barley Seedlings at Different Matric and Osmotic Potentials
- X. Hao and
- E. de Jong
Since saline and drought conditions often occur together, plant response to the combined stresses is of considerable interest. The effects of matric and osmotic potential on shoot and root growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum, cv. Neepawa) and barley (Hordeum vulgare, cv. Bonanza) were investigated in a growth chamber. An artificially salinized Dark Brown Chernozemic sandy loam soil (Typic Borolls) was used in the study. The plants were germinated in nonsaline soil, transplanted onto columns with different osmotic and matric potentials, and grown for up to 8 d. Osmotic potentials of −0.1 to −1.0 MPa and matric potentials of −0.01 to −2.5 MPa reduced shoot and root growth, but the effects of the matric and osmotic stress were not necessarily quantitatively equal. A marked interaction between the two potentials occurred at high stress levels. In the most saline treatments, root growth was greater in the dry than the wet treatments. It is suggested that the latter is due to increased salt accumulation around the roots caused by more rapid mass flow in the wettest soil.
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