, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 161-170
Date: 20 Jun 2008

Evaluation of orange-fleshed sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) genotypes for salt tolerance through shoot apex culture under in vitro NaCl mediated salinity stress conditions

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Fifteen genotypes of sweet potato were evaluated for salinity stress tolerance under in vitro NaCl mediated salinity stress conditions (MS, MS + 0.5% and MS + 1.0% NaCl). The growth parameters such as number of leaves, number of shoots, number of roots, length of plantlets and length of roots decreased significantly among the genotypes with increase in level of salinity. Of the 15 genotypes tested, six genotypes (108X1, 90/606, 90/696, CIP 8, S-30X15 and SP-61) were unable to sprout even at 0.5% NaCl and were characterized as susceptible to salt stress, three genotypes (CIP 6, 90/774 and CIP 3) which could tolerate 0.5% NaCl as moderately tolerant and six genotypes (CIP 12, CIP 13, JO 14, JP 13, SB-198/115 and Gouri) as tolerant to salinity at 1.0% NaCl. Amongst the six genotypes showing tolerance to 1.0% NaCl, the exotic genotypes––JP 13, CIP 12 and indigenous one SB-198/115 continued to exhibit significant higher values for growth parameters over the susceptible one. Based on the performance under NaCl mediated salinity stress (1.0%), the pattern of salinity tolerance in the genotypes through shoot apex culture was JP 13 > SB-198/115 > JO 14 > Gouri > CIP 12 > CIP 13. The effect of salt stress on the activity of antioxidative enzymes was studied in leaves of 8-week-old plantlets of those six genotypes, which responded at higher NaCl stress along with a susceptible genotype 90/606. In leaves of salt stressed plants, superoxide dismutase (SOD), guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) and catalase (CAT) activities increased when compared with the stress free control. The increase was more pronounced in the tolerant genotypes than that in the susceptible one. These results indicate that oxidative stress may play an important role in salt stressed sweet potato plants and that the greater protection of tolerant plants from salt induced oxidative damage results, at least in part, through the increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes.