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Effect of salt stress on Growth and Ion accumulation of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars

Ashrafi, Ensiye, Razmjoo, Jamshid, Zahedi, Morteza
Journal of plant nutrition 2018 v.41 no.7 pp. 818-831
Medicago sativa, alfalfa, calcium, copper, cultivars, genotype, leaves, magnesium, mineral content, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, roots, salinity, salt stress, salt tolerance, shoots, sodium, sodium chloride, zinc
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) yield and nutrient contents may be affected under salinity condition. Thus, this experiment was conducted to determine the effect of three salinity levels (60, 120, and 180 mM NaCl) on shoot and root dry weights, and mineral contents of three alfalfa cultivars. With the increasing salinity levels sodium (Na) and magnesium (Mg) contents increased; but potassium (K), nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), calcium (Ca), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) contents and root and leaf weights decreased; however, changes in these traits depended on cultivar and salinity level. However, Rehnani, a tolerant cultivar, had the lowest Na and Mg contents and the highest K, N, P, Ca, Zn, and Cu contents and dry weights under all of the salinity levels. Moreover, leaf dry weight and leaf P content had the highest correlation with salt tolerance suggesting that these traits may be used as a marker for selecting salts that are tolerant among genotypes in alfalfa.