Effect of Salinity Stress on Physiological and Biochemical Traits in Citrus Genotypes

Document Type : Research Article


1 Citrus and Sub-Tropical Fruits Research Center, Ramsar

2 Zanjan University


Introduction: Citrus (L.) is a large genus that covers several major cultivatedspecies, including Citrussinensis (sweet orange), C.reticulata (tangerine and mandarin), C. limon (lemon), C.grandis (pummelo), and C. paradisi (grapefruit).Citrus is one of the world’s important fruit crops and grown inmost areas with suitable climates between latitude 35◦N–35◦S. InIran, citrus industry is of paramount importance. Citrus species have been classified as salt-sensitive crops, although their relative tolerance can be influenced by climate, fertilization, soil type, irrigation method and rootstock. Citrus rootstocks differ in their ability to exclude Cl−and/or Na+from the scion. Many authors have contrasted the relative abilities of rootstocks to restrict movement of salts to the scions. The rootstocks Cleopatra mandarin (C. reshni), Rangpur lime (C. limonia) and Severiniabuxifolia (Poir) Tenore were relatively effective in restricting Cl−transport to scions, whereas the rootstocks Swingle citrumelo and Carrizo citrange were found to be less restrictive. Although the mechanism by which some rootstocks reduce concentrations of ions in the scion is still unknown, it seems to depend on the vigor of the scion and on water requirements. There are a number of reports demonstrating that both scion and rootstock may influence Cl−accumulation in leaves. Several papers reported that accumulation of Na+ in shoots seemed to be more dependent on rootstock–scion combinations. Since, citrus species are different in salt tolerance and use of tolerant rootstocks can decrease salinity damages, sothis study was conducted to identify tolerant genotypes among unknown types from the Kotra Citrus Research Station, Citrus and Sub-Tropical Fruits Research Center (Ramsar).
Materials and Methods: The experiment was –arrangedin afactorial, based on completely randomized design in three replications with two plantsin each experimental unit in Iran Citrus Research Institute.Treatment included 10 citrus natural genotypes along with two varieties of Cleopatra mandarin (tolerant plant) and Swinglecitrumelo (sensitive plant) with six-month old and four salinity levels of sodium chloride: 0(control), 2, 4 and 6 dsm-1, for 16 weeks in the greenhouse condition. Effect of salinity on fresh and dry weight of shoot and root, relative water content (using upper leaves), stomatal density (with counting of stomata using microscope), concentration ofCl (with titration method of silver nitrate) and Na (by flame photometry) in roots and leaves, content of total chlorophyll (using acetone 80%), proline (spectrophotometry at wavelength of 520 nm), lipid peroxidation (spectrophotometry at wavelength of 532 nm) and activity of peroxidase enzyme (spectrophotometry at wavelength of 470 nm)were investigated. Data analysis was done by SAS 9.1 software.
Results and Discussion: The results indicated that, the interaction of genotypes and salinity levels hadnot significant difference in relative water content, stomatal density and Na+concentration - in roots but, other traits except total chlorophyll content which was significant at 5% level, were significant at 1% level. Shoot fresh and dry weight of genotypes No. 4 and 6 were significantly (P


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