Soil salinity and the arid climate in Libya are major constraints in agriculture and predominantly in foodstuff production which are limiting wheat production and yield. The effect of pre-sowing seed treatments with 50 mM of KCl, NaCl, CaCl2, and distilled water as hydropriming on germination and early seedling growth in two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars S-24 (tolerant) and Slambo (untested before) under 0, 100, 200 and 300 mM NaCl concentrations was examined. CaCl2 was the only priming treatment that significantly improved the germination percentage, germination rate, and mean germination time in both cultivars under almost all NaCl concentrations. Thus, priming with CaCl2 was selected for further experiments. In the greenhouse, seeds primed with 50 mM of CaCl2 also improved the emergence percentage, emergence rate, shoot and root length, and fresh and dry weight of shoots and roots of both cultivars under all NaCl concentration except at 300 mM where the emergence was completely inhibited. The response of wheat cultivars to three compost treatments including cow manure compost (CC), greenwaste compost (GC) and 50:50 mixture (mix) between them and sand at percentage inclusions of 10 and 30 % by weightunder 0, 100, 200, and 300 mM of NaCl was also investigated. Among all compost treatments, 30% GC and 30% mix were the best treatment and improved almost all growth parameters under salt stress, and 30% GC was also the only treatment that had any emergence at 300 mM NaCl. 30% GC and 30% mix were selected for further experiments.
The effect of the combination of the selected priming agent (CaCl2) and the best two compost treatments (30% GC and 30% mix) on the emergence and early seedling growth of both cultivars was tested. The results showed that all the treatments enhanced plant growth parameters including seedling ion uptake in both cultivars, with preference to primed seeds sown in 30% GC. The treatments had the following order of the performance of both cultivars under salt stress. Primed seeds sown in 30% GC > unprimed seeds sown in 30% GC > primed seeds sown in 30% mix > unprimed seeds sown in 30% mix. This enhancement is possibly due to the provision of Ca2+ and / or the improvement in the availability of water as both of them were improved by the application of priming and compost.
|Date of Award||2013|