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Screening Method for Salt Tolerance in Cotton

Author(s): John K. Hemphill | Huseyin Basal | C. Wayne Smith

Journal: American Journal of Plant Physiology
ISSN 1557-4539

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 107;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Cotton | salt stress | genetic diversity | hydroponic culture

Abiotic stress conditions such as drought, salt and high temperature reduce yields of crop plants by as much as 70%. Therefore, advancement of salt-tolerance in cotton requires the identification of plant genetic diversity that exists, theoretically, in cultivars, which are adapted to arid growing regions. The exotic race stock accessions should possess salt-tolerant genes since many of these Gossypium hirsutum germlines were collected in the arid regions of Mexico and Central America. The objective of this project was to develop a screening technique to identify the cultivars and exotic germlines that possessed salt-tolerant genes. Since the early stages of a plant`s life cycle are generally believed to be the most sensitive stages, we screened several conventional cultivars as controls and several exotic race stock accessions for their ability to tolerate increased salt levels during seed germination-radical elongation (growth chamber) and seedling maturation (hydroponic conditions in a greenhouse). It was concluded that this screening technique resulted in the identification of plants that survived these conditions and represent likely candidates for use in our plant-breeding program.
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