1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Characterize and evaluate varietal differences for selected crops, as related to salinity and irrigation water composition.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Conduct greenhouse lysimeter and field studies to determine relative response and yield of a number of varieties of high value salt sensitive corps.
This research is covered under objective 1: Identify variability in physiological and biochemical response mechanisms associated with the use of saline waters on cultivars of selected agronomic or horticultural salt-sensitive crops. We initiated and completed a germination experiment with 15 alfalfa populations under elevated salinity. The result confirmed the earlier finding from 4 U.S, commercial varieties, that there was no correlation between reported salt tolerance and germination. These results suggest that although germination is an essential aspect of a viable salt tolerant variety, it cannot be utilized as a screening for alfalfa salt tolerance. We measured physiological characteristics of alfalfa varieties grown under salt stress under greenhouse conditions. Photosynthesis rates were directly related to growth parameters but little differences were found among the varieties at the same salinity level. We have collected samples from each variety and salinity treatment for analysis of secondary metabolites.