Evaluation of lettuce genotypes for salinity tolerance

Lettuce is one of the most commonly used salad vegetables and considered to be a relatively salt-sensitive crop. Salinity is a major constraint to crop production in all important lettuce growing regions of the United States, and the water quality problem is exacerbated by climate change. To identify salt-tolerant lettuce genotypes, 178 cultivars and germplasm accessions (56 butterhead, 39 crisphead, 35 romaine, 33 leaf, and 15 wild types) were selected from a preliminary screening of more than 3800 genotypes, and tested for salinity tolerance in sand cultures under greenhouse conditions. 

The results indicate that lettuce genotypes differ greatly in their salt sensitivity, which could be useful for growers to choose cultivars and for breeders to improve lettuce adaptation to salinity stress.

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