Use of foliage and root characters for the evaluation of salinity tolerance at seedling stage in maize.
The aim of this research was to evaluate the salinity tolerance in maize at the seedling stage quantifying the influence of traits related to it. Eight accessions/lines were probed in two treatments (0 and 100 mM NaCl). We recorded several growth characters and the electrolyte leakage (cell membrane stability). The direct effects on shoot dry mass were different in both treatments. In salt, the leaf length had larger direct effect on shoot dry mass (0.58), whereas in the treatment without salt, it was smaller (0.22). Important differences between saline and non saline conditions were found for shoot length (0.13 and 0. 41, respectively) and for root length (0.08 and 0.34, respectively). The results confirm the importance of the root length, in the identification of behavior of corn seedlings under high saline growth media. However, leaf length, could also be used to identify tolerance to salinity. This trait is easy to determine and would be useful in breeding programs where there is a great amount of material to assess
Zea mays; seedling growth; phenotypic correlations; path analysis; salinity.
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