Genetic diversity in barley and wheat for tolerance to soil constraints

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Surface soil sodicity as well as subsoil salinity, acidity, and phytotoxic concentrations o chloride (Cl) are major soil constraints to crop production in many soils of sub-Tropical, north-easter Australia. The identification of genotypes tolerant to these soil constraints may be an optio to maintain and improve productivity on these soils. We evaluated performance of 11 barle and 17 wheat genotypes grown on two sites <0.5 km apart. Compared to the non-sodic site, th sodic site had significantly higher Cl concentration (>800 mgClkg1) in the subsoil (0.9-1.3 m soi depth) and higher exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) (>6%) in the surface and subsoil. Barle grain yield and plant available water capacity (PAWC) were reduced between 5%-25% and 40%-66% respectively, for different genotypes at the sodic site as compared to the non-sodic site. For whea genotypes, grain yield was between 8% and 33% lower at the sodic site compared to the non-sodi site and PAWC was between 3% and 37% lower. Most barley and wheat genotypes grown at the sodi site showed calcium (Ca) deficiency symptoms on younger leaves. Analysis of the youngest full mature leaf (YML) confirmed that genotypes grown at the sodic site with Ca concentration < 0.2 exhibited deficiency symptoms. Grain yields of both barley and wheat genotypes grown on th sodic and non-sodic sites increased significantly with increasing Ca and K in YML and decrease significantly with increasing Na and Cl concentrations in YML. Sodium (Na) concentrations in YM of wheat genotypes grown at the sodic site were 10-fold higher than those from the non-sodic sit whereas this increase was only two-fold in barley genotypes. In step-wise regression, the PAWC o barley and wheat genotypes grown on sodic and non-sodic sites was the principal determinant o variability of barley and wheat grain yield. Including the Ca concentration in the YML of whea genotypes and K:Na ratio in the YML of barley genotypes significantly improved the predictio of grain yield in the regression analysis. Barley genotypes, Mackay and Kaputar, were relativel susceptible while Baronesse and Grout were relatively more tolerant to sodicity. Wheat genotype Gregory and Stampede were generally relatively more susceptible to sodicity, and genotypes Baxter Hume, and the experimental line HSF1-255 were relatively more tolerant than the former group.




Dang, Y. P., Christopher, J. T., & Dalal, R. C. (2016). Genetic diversity in barley and wheat for tolerance to soil constraints. Agronomy, 6(4).

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