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Screening Some Tef [Eragrostis Tef (Zucc.)Trotter] Accessions/Varieties for Salt Tolerance during Germination and Seedling Stage

KG Asfaw
F Itanna


Salinity is a continuing problem in the arid and semi-arid tracts of the world. It could be alleviated using irrigation management and/or crop management. However, the former approach is outdated and very expensive. Nevertheless, the latter is economical as well as efficient, and it enables to produce salt tolerant crop lines. But prior to that there is a need to confirm the presence of genetic based variation for salt tolerance among different species or varieties of a particular crop that can thrive under unreliable agro-ecological situations; tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc) Trotter] is one of such crops. Thus fifteen lowland tef genotypes (10 accessions and 5 varieties) were tested during germination and seedling stage at 2dS/m, 4dS/m, 8dS/m, 12dS/m and 16dS/m salinity levels. Distilled water (0dS/m) was used as a control. Data analysis was carried out using SAS package. Germination percentage (GP), germination rate (GR), seedling shoot length (SSL) and seedling root length (SRL) were measured. The analyzed data showed significant variation among most parameters recorded for accessions and varieties (p < 0.01) and for treatments (p < 0.001). Germination rate and seedling root length were more salt affected than final germination percentage and seedling shoot length respectively. The main cause for reduced and delayed germination percentage was osmotic effect. The ion effect was also learned to be minimal. Most accessions and varieties failed to germinate at 12dS/m and 16dS/m salinity levels. Thus, these salt concentrations were not important in screening tef genotypes for salt tolerance. Varieties such as DZ-01-1281, DZ-Cr-358 and accession 236512 were found to be salt sensitive. However, variety DZ-Cr-37 and accessions 237186, 237131 and 212928 were found to be salt tolerant. The rest accessions and varieties were intermediate in their salt tolerance. The study affirmed the presence of broad intraspecific variation among tef accessions and varieties for salt tolerance but more in the former.

Key words: Accessions, Germination, NaCl, Salinity, Eragrostis tef.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2220-184X
print ISSN: 2073-073X