Effect of degree of salinity on seed germination and initial growth of chickpea (Cicer arietinum)

Keywords: chickpea; plant development; plant height; root length; salt stress.


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is one of the main pulse crops cultivated mostly in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, very often on saline lands. The problem is that it has not been clearly determined yet what is the safe salinity degree for obtaining uniform and vigorous sprouts of the crop without significant suppression in the parameters of initial growth and development. The goal of our study was to determine the effect of different NaCl concentrations in solutions on chickpea germination and initial growth to determine the safe degree of salinity for the crop cultivation. The study was carried out in greenhouse conditions of Kherson State Agrarian University. We studied the effect of five different gradually increasing degrees of NaCl solutions on the germination percentage and initial growth of chickpea (variety Rosanna, kabuli type) that was germinated in laboratory conditions in flasks filled with sand, at the temperature of 25 oC. A significant decrease in all the studied parameters was observed with the increase of salinity degree. However, we think that a considerable decrease of the crop germination and initial growth started with NaCl concentration of 1.79 g/L: germination percentage decreased by 33.9%, plant height – by 7.8 cm, root length – by 5.5 cm in comparison to the control variant (not saline conditions). Therefore, we conclude that the chickpea can be efficiently cultivated on slightly-saline lands. Besides, the results of linear regression analysis revealed that the most susceptible stage of chickpea growth and development is germination because this stage had strong close inter-connection with the degree of salinity. Further growth of the crop was less affected by the salinity stress. We recommend cultivation of chickpea on the saline lands only with a slight salinity level.


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