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The extent of variation in salinity tolerance of the minicore collection of finger millet (Eleusine coracana L. Gaertn.) germplasm

Krishnamurthy, Lakshmanan, Upadhyaya, Hari Deo, Purushothaman, Ramamoorthy, Gowda, Cholenahalli Lakkegowda Laxmipathi, Kashiwagi, Junichi, Dwivedi, Sangam Lal, Singh, Sube, Vadez, Vincent
Plant science 2014 v.227 pp. 51-59
Eleusine coracana, absorption, arid lands, biomass, cortex, endodermis, genotype, germplasm, grain yield, millets, phenology, salinity, salt tolerance, sodium, sodium chloride, soil, soil salinization, South Africa, South Asia
Finger millet (Eleusine coracana L. Gaertn.) ranks third in production among the dry land cereals. It is widely cultivated in Africa and South Asia where soil salinization is a major production constraint. It is a potential crop for salt affected soils. To identify salt tolerant germplasm, the minicore finger millet germplasm (n=80) was screened for grain yield performance in a soil saturated with NaCl solution of 100 or 125mM. Genotype effect was significant for most traits, while salinity×genotype interaction was significant only in one year. Salinity delayed phenology, marginally reduced shoot biomass and grain yield. There was a large range of genotypic variation in grain yield under salinity and other traits. The yield loss was higher in accessions with prolific growth and yield potential was associated with saline yields. Based on saline yields, accessions were grouped in to four groups and the top tolerant group had 22 accessions with IE 4797 remaining at the top. Salinity had no adverse impact on grain yield of five accessions. Root anatomy in selected genotype of pearl and finger millet showed presence of porous cortex and well fortified endodermis in finger millet that can exclude Na+ and enhance N absorption.