Waterlogging anomalies have recently increased, causing a reduction in yield and the loss of billions of dollars. Plant selection for increased tolerance to stress factors requires parameters with high sensitivity, as well as fast and inexpensive measurements. The aim of this study was to select tomato and cucumber accessions that reveal sensitivity and tolerance to waterlogging stress at an early vegetative stage.
The selection of effective criteria for assessing plants was also an important issue. A total of 19 cucumber (including four highly homozygous) and 16 tomato accessions were evaluated, and plants with three true leaves were examined. The root zone of stressed plants was waterlogged for 7 days in a deep container. Morphological and physiological characteristics were obtained after 7 days of treatment and used for cluster analysis for discrimination of tolerant and sensitive accessions.
Significant decreases in Fv/F0, Fv/Fm, Area, PI ABS, ET0/ABS, and ET0/TR0 parameters, as well as increases in DI0/RC, were observed in sensitive accessions, with no changes in tolerant plants. The OJIP test parameters (Fv/F0, PI ABS, DI0/RC, and Area) were more sensitive in selecting for waterlogging stress than Fv/Fm. The present research can be used in breeding programs. Selected accessions will support a detailed explanation of the physiological differences in response to waterlogging stress in tomato and cucumber plants.