Salinity effect on seedling emergence, nitrogen and chloride concentrations, and growth of citrus rootstocks

Mongi Zekri


The effects of salinity on seedling emergence, N and Cl concentrations, and early development and growth of Carrizo citrange, sour orange, and Cleopatra mandarin rootstocks were studied under greenhouse conditions. Salinity treatments consisted of 0, 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 mM of NaCl and CaSO[sub4] at a ratio of 4:1 (mol by mol). Seedling emergence was delayed and depressed, time to 50% emergence was increased and seedling growth was reduced with increasing salinity levels. This study showed a non-consistent trend among citrus rootstocks concerning whether the delay in seedling emergence is more sensitive to salinity than final percent emergence. However, seedling growth was more affected by salinity than seedling emergence. Shoot and root N and Cl concentrations generally increased with increasing salt concentrations. Shoot Cl concentration was found to be a better tool than root Cl concentration in evaluating the injurious effect of salinity and a better variable in ranking salt tolerance of citrus rootstocks. This study also showed that salt tolerance is not a constant character in citrus rootstocks but varies with the stage of seedling development.


plant mineral analysis; salt stress; salt tolerance; seed germination; stress physiology

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283