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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356160

Research Project: Genetics and Breeding of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species to Improve Production and Consumer-related Traits

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Seedling salt tolerance for above ground-related traits in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp)

Author
item Dong, Lingdi - University Of Arkansas
item Ravelombola, Waltram - University Of Arkansas
item Weng, Yuejin - University Of Arkansas
item Qin, Jun - University Of Arkansas
item Bhattarai, Gehendra - University Of Arkansas
item Zia, Bazgha - University Of Arkansas
item Zhou, Wei - University Of Arkansas
item Wang, Yuhai - University Of Arkansas
item Mou, Beiquan
item Shi, Ainong - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2019
Publication Date: 2/18/2019
Citation: Dong, L., Ravelombola, W., Weng, Y., Qin, J., Bhattarai, G., Zia, B., Zhou, W., Wang, Y., Mou, B., Shi, A. 2019. Seedling salt tolerance for above ground-related traits in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp). Euphytica. 215:53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-019-2379-4.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-019-2379-4

Interpretive Summary: Soil salinity is a growing concern affecting crop production in the world. With poor quality of irrigation water, salt concentrations in cultivated areas keep increasing, hence affecting the optimal growth and development of cowpea. Effects of salinity on crops are severe in semi-arid and arid regions where low rainfall does not allow salt compounds to be leached from soils. Seedling stage is one the most vulnerable stages in plant growth and development. However, to date, few if any salt-tolerant cowpea cultivars have been reported worldwide. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate cowpea varieties for salt tolerance based on the reduction of above ground traits. A total of 155 cowpea varieties was evaluated for salt tolerance at seedling stage. Salt treatments were 0 mM and 200 mM NaCl. Salt stress was imposed for two weeks and a total of 19 parameters were used for salt tolerance evaluation. Results revealed that: 1) a large variation in salt tolerance was found among the 155 cowpea varieties, 2) salt stress significantly reduced plant height and fresh shoot weight, but slightly increased chlorophyll content, 3) a relatively high correlation was found between plant height and fresh weight-related parameters, 4) chlorophyll content had low correlation with plant height and fresh shoot weight reductions, respectively, 5) Varieties PI354686, PI353270, PI354666, and PI354842 were salt-tolerant based on the decrease in plant height and fresh shoot weight, and PI548785, PI582466, PI339599, and 09-697 were the top performers based on chlorophyll content. These results can be used in breeding programs to develop salt-tolerant cowpea cultivars.

Technical Abstract: With poor quality of irrigation water, salt concentrations in cultivated areas keep increasing, hence preventing cowpea from being cultivated for optimal growth and development. Effects of salinity on crops are severe in semi-arid and arid regions where low rainfall does not allow salt compounds to be leached from soils. Seedling stage is one the most vulnerable stages in plant growth and development. However, to date, few if any salt-tolerant cowpea cultivars have been reported worldwide. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate cowpea genotypes for salt tolerance based on the reduction of above ground-related traits. A total of 155 cowpea genotypes was phenotyped for salt tolerance at seedling stage. Salt treatments were 0 mM and 200 mM NaCl. The experiment design was completely randomized (CRD) with three replications per genotype and salt treatment combination, and organized in a split-plot manner. Salt stress was imposed for two weeks and a total of 19 parameters were used for salt tolerance evaluation. Results revealed that: 1) a large variation in salt tolerance was found among the 155 cowpea genotypes, 2) salt stress significantly reduced plant height and fresh shoot biomass, but slightly increased chlorophyll content, 3) a relatively high correlation was found between plant height and fresh biomass-related parameters, 4) chlorophyll content had low correlation with plant height and fresh shoot biomass reductions, respectively, 5) PI354686, PI353270, PI354666, and PI354842 were salt-tolerant based on the decrease in plant height and fresh shoot biomass, and PI548785, PI582466, PI339599, and 09-697 were the top performers based on chlorophyll content. These results can be used for advancing breeding programs for salt tolerance in cowpea.