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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327356

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Responses of tolerant and susceptible Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) germplasm to salt stress

Author
item Bushman, Shaun
item WANG, LIJUN - Utah State University
item JOSHI, ALPANA - Utah State University
item Robins, Joseph
item JOHNSON, PAUL - Utah State University

Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/6/2016
Publication Date: 9/30/2016
Citation: Bushman, B.S., Wang, L., Joshi, A., Robins, J.G., Johnson, P.G. 2016. Responses of tolerant and susceptible Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) germplasm to salt stress. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 141:449-456.

Interpretive Summary: Much of semi-arid western North America is salt-affected, and utilizing turfgrasses in salty areas can be challenging. Kentucky bluegrass is relatively susceptible to salt stress, showing reduced growth, osmotic and ionic stress, and eventual death at moderate or high salt concentrations. Considerable variation exists for salt tolerance among Kentucky bluegrass germplasm, and in this study, four Kentucky bluegrass accessions were compared for their relative ability to tolerate salt stress. Two tolerant accessions showed higher leaf water potential and lower electrolyte leakage than the varieties Midnight and Baron at increasing salt concentrations and over 28 days. The accumulation of sodium and calcium in the leaves did not vary significantly among the four entries. Genes involved in ion transport across membranes, and in antioxidant activities, were induced upon salt stress in the tolerant accessions relative to susceptible varieties. These data indicate the ability of tolerant accessions to ameliorate oxidative stress and prevent electrolyte leakage, and confirmed the tolerance of germplasm previously reported on while indicating mechanisms by which they tolerate the salt stress.

Technical Abstract: Much of semi-arid western North America is salt-affected, and utilizing turfgrasses in salty areas can be challenging. Kentucky bluegrass is relatively susceptible to salt stress, showing reduced growth, osmotic and ionic stress, and eventual death at moderate or high salt concentrations. Considerable variation exists for salt tolerance among Kentucky bluegrass germplasm, and in this study, four Kentucky bluegrass accessions were compared for their relative ability to tolerate salt stress. Two tolerant accessions showed higher leaf water potential and lower electrolyte leakage than the varieties Midnight and Baron at increasing salt concentrations and over 28 days. The accumulation of sodium and calcium in the leaves did not vary significantly among the four entries. Genes involved in ion transport across membranes, and in antioxidant activities, were induced upon salt stress in the tolerant accessions relative to susceptible varieties. These data indicate the ability of tolerant accessions to ameliorate oxidative stress and prevent electrolyte leakage, and confirmed the tolerance of germplasm previously reported on while indicating mechanisms by which they tolerate the salt stress.