Effect of Salt Stress on Three Green Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Cultivars
Keywords:growth, ion distribution, leaf morphology, pod yield, salt
Agriculture is increasingly forced to utilize marginal waters to meet its increasing demands, which in turn increases the risks of soil salinization and yield reduction in the arid and semi-arid areas of the Mediterranean basin. Given that the bean is an extremely salt sensitive species, the purpose of the present work was to study the effect of 0 and 75 mM sodium chloride (NaCl) on leaf characteristics, growth, pod yield and ion accumulation of three green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars ('Corallo Nano, 'Romano Bush Plaja' and 'Starazagorski'), widely used in Greece. Plants were grown in a greenhouse of Technological Educational Institute of Peloponnese in Messinia, Southern Greece, from April to June 2014, in hydroponics. The experimental design was the factorial completely randomized one with five replications; each replication consisted of the three plants grown on the same rockwool slab. The results of the majority of growth and yield parameters determined showed the superiority of 'Corallo' over 'Romano' whereas 'Starazagorski' tolerance was found to be intermediate. 'Corallo' tolerated NaCl salinity better due to its capacity for Na retention in the roots and maintaining appropriate K/Na and Ca/Na ratios, limiting the accumulation of toxic ions into actively growing shoots. The salt sensitivity of 'Romano' was related to its higher concentration of Na in the leaves and lower in the roots, to the greater decrease of the leaf number and leaf water content, as well as to the specific leaf area increase compared to the other two cultivars under saline conditions.
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