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India: Study examines salt tolerance of different lentil genotypes

Lentil (Lens sp.) is an edible pulse cultivated as a staple food throughout the regions of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is an important dietary supplement in the Indian sub-continent.

In a new study, scientists from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have evaluated 162 genotypes including wild accessions, landraces, breeding lines and cultivars of lentil for their salt tolerance. This was based on four broad factors. First, the morphological characteristics like germination, seedling growth, biomass accumulation, seedling survivability and salinity scores were assessed. Next, anatomical characteristics such as root and shoot anatomy were examined, followed by analysis of physiological characteristics such as Na+, Cl-, K+ concentrations. Lastly, molecular characteristics such as proline and antioxidant activities were considered.

The researchers evaluated the genotypes under hydroponics, where plants are grown without soil but only mineral enriched nutrient water, and under field experiments. The study reveals that growing plants in hydroponics helps in distinguishing the salt tolerant varieties from their non-tolerant counterpart at the seedling stage.

Read more at Research Matters

Publication date: 9/28/2017



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