Varietals differences in agronomic performance of six wheat varieties grown under saline field environment|
M. Ahmad, B. H. Niazi, B. Zaman, and M. Athar
Six wheat varieties (SARC-1, SARC-2, SARC-3, SARC-4, LU26S and Punjab-85) were planted in the field to evaluate their comparative performance under saline conditions. LU26S appeared the most salt-tolerant variety and gave the highest grain weight due to its low Na+ uptake, high K+/Na+ ratio, higher dry weight of shoots and spikes and better grain development. Better exclusion of Na+ and other ions from the leaves of salt-tolerant variety LU2 6S could also be a reason for its ability to maintain a higher grain weight in the saline soil. Punjab-85 appeared the most saltsensitive variety as its dry weight of main shoots and spikes were also found to be the lowest. High Na+ uptake, lower K+/Na+ ratio, lower dry weight of main shoots and spikes and lower 100 grain weight were the main reasons for saltsensitivity in Punjab-85. Dry weight of shoots, spikes and grain weight of SARC-3 under saline soil conditions was almost similar to the salt-sensitive variety Punjab-85 and could be classified as salt-sensitive. Flag leaf area decreased drastically due to salt stress in all the varieties and this could be a major cause for low yield. There was however, a very low linear correlation between the flag leaf area and the grain weight in pooled data for all the six wheat varieties.
Soil salinity, wheat, grain yield, Na+, K+, K/Na ratio