Behaviour of Tunisian Durum Wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) Varieties under Saline Stress
Ramzi Chaabane, Houcine Bchini, Houda Ouji, Hammadi Ben Salah, Khalil Khamassi, Sahari Khoufi, Elyes Babay and M'barek Ben Naceur
An experimental study was carried out under semi controlled conditions at National Agronomic Research Institute of Tunisia in Ariana experimental station. Eight main Tunisian Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) varieties were grown under salinity conditions. The objectives of this research were to compare the behaviour of the varieties under salt stress. Many agronomic and physiological traits were evaluated under both saline (10 g NaCl/l) and non saline conditions (control). Results showed that salinity negatively affected all of the studied parameters. The tiller number, chlorophyll contents, height growth rate, shoot dry weight, spikes per plant, 1000-grain weight and total grain yield were significantly affected by salinity. However the plant height, spikelets per spike and grains per spike were much less affected by salinity. Correlation studies showed significant positive and negative correlations between salt tolerance indexes of different evaluated parameters. These results strongly suggest that the number of fertile tillers and shoot dry weight might be useful for salinity tolerance improvement programs of the analyzed genotypes.