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Growth and cation accumulation of mint genotypes in response to soil sodicity

Prasad, A., Chattopadhyay, A., Singh, D.V.
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2003 v.34 no.17-18 pp. 2683-2697
Mentha piperita nothosubsp. citrata, Mentha arvensis, Mentha piperita, Mentha, cultivars, plant growth, soil sodicity, phytotoxicity, shoots, crop yield, chemical constituents of plants, cations, stress tolerance
Growth and cation accumulation of four mint species and four Japanese mint (Mentha arvensis) cultivars in response to soil sodicity was studied in pot experiments. The sprouting of all cultivars of Japanese mint was significantly inhibited by soil sodicity. The extent of inhibition in sprouting was greater in the cultivars Kalka and Himalaya than in the Shivalik and Koshi. A severe shoot injury symptom was exhibited in M. citrata, M. cardiaca, and M. arvensis after 50 days of transplanting at the soil ESP level 54.0 and in M. piperita after 50 and 70 days of transplanting at the soils ESP levels 25.0 and 54.0, respectively. Mentha piperita, grown on soils ESP of 25.0 and above, failed to survive after developing the shoot injury symptoms. Soil sodicity significantly restricted the herb yield of mint genotypes. At the ESP level of 54.0, the decrease in herb yield was 83.1, 92.2, 89.6, and 98.2% over control in M. citrata, M. cardiaca, M. arvensis, and M. piperita, respectively. The reduction in the yield of Japanese mint at the soil ESP level of 45.0 was 53.8, 81.4, 53.2, and 71.4 per cent over control in the cultivars Shivalik, Kalka, Himalaya, and Koshi, respectively. The oil yield of mint species was not significantly affected with increases in soil ESP level from 1.5 (control) to 25.0. Increases in soil sodicity enhanced the concentration of sodium (Na) and decreased that of potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) in shoot tissues of mint genotypes as compared with control. The Na induced Ca nutrition imbalance had a greater impact on growth inhibition and shoot injury in M. piperita than K and Mg nutrition imbalance. Decreases in K/Na, and Ca/Na ratios in shoot tissues of Japanese mint were significantly and positively correlated with decrease in herb yield. The relatively lower increase in Na and the capacity to maintain high K/Na, Ca/Na and Mg/Na ratios in the cultivars Shivalik and Himalaya showed their greater tolerance to sodicity than that of Kalka and Koshi.