The effects of salinity on growth and ion content of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), eggfruit (Solanum melongena L.) and red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) varieties

Christian Richter, Burkhard Heiligtag, Maher Nagieb, Usama Mukhallalati


The effects of salinity on yield and ion concentrations of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) varieties from Syria and eggfruit (Solanum melongena) and red pepper (Capsicum annuum) varieties from Palestina were studied in pot experiments in a greenhouse. The yield of all plants was reduced by increasing salinity from 0 to 8 dSm^-1 in the saturation extract. Emergence as well as shoot and grain yield of all chickpea varieties was inhibited from 4 dSm^-1 onwards, while root growth was reduced from as low as 2 dSm^-1. As a consequence of salinity treatment , chickpea variety Ghab 2 showed the best root and shoot growth, and Ghab 1 the highest grain yield. For chickpea, a high yield in spite of salinity corresponded with a low Na and Cl concentration in the tissue. Chickpea is an excluder plant, trying to protect its tissue against the harmful salt. The yield of eggfruit and red pepper was diminished for the two sensitive varieties Balady and Battiri already at 1.46 dSm^-1, but the varieties Turshy and Shatta were much more tolerant. Turshy showed the highest salt tolerance: its slope of yield reduction was not as steep as that of the other varieties. Compared to chickpea, eggfruit and red pepper seem to be includer plants. They can accumulate the salt which can be useful for osmotic adjustment against water stress due to salinity.

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