, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 562-564

Salinity and salt composition effects on seed germination and root length of four sugar beet cultivars

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Salinization is one of the most important factors affecting agricultural land in the world. Salinization occurs naturally in arid and semiarid regions where evaporation is higher than rainfall. Sugar beet yield declines with an increase in salinity, but the sensitivity to salts varies with salt composition in water and sugar beet growth stage. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of water salinity levels and salt composition on germination and seedling root length of four sugar beet cultivars (PP22, IC2, PP36, and 7233). The experiments were undertaken with irrigation water with two salt compositions (NaCl alone and mixture of MgSO4 + NaCl + Na2SO4 + CaCl2) in three replicates. Thirteen salinity levels with electrical conductivity (EC) of the irrigation water ranging from 0 to 30 dS/m were applied to each cultivar in both experiments. Seed germination percentage and seedling root length growth were determined in 13 days. Statistical analysis revealed that germination and root length were significantly affected by salt composition, cultivars and salinity levels. Regardless of salt composition, seed germination and seedling root length were significantly affected by the irrigation water with EC up to 8 dS/m and 4 dS/m, respectively. Except for cultivar PP22, the adverse effect of salinity of the irrigation water on seed germination and seedling root length was higher for NaCl alone than for the salt mixture, which refers to lower salt stress in field conditions with natural salt composition.

Presented at the International Conference on Bioclimatology and Natural Hazards, Poľana nad Detvou, Slovakia, 17–20 September 2007.