Impact of Blending Saline Water with Fresh Water on Germination and Growth Rate of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench)

Abbas E. Rahma; Hassan I. Mohammed; Tingwu Lei; Eiman G. Mohamed
Food production for the increasing population in the world is limited by water scarcity. One attempt to overcome the water shortage is to utilize water from different sources. To use Saline water blended with fresh water as alternative water source for irrigation requires the experimental quantification of the effects of such blended water on plant growth rate and germination at the early growth stages of Sorghum. The laboratory experiments used five salinity levels (Ec. 0.24, 4, 6, 9, and 18 dS.m-1), and two main local cultivars (Wad Ahmed and Tabat) of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench). Germination percentage, seedling length and mean germination time were taken as growth evaluation parameters. The results obtained showed that cultivars did not vary significantly in their ability to grow at various salinity values in clay cracking soils. At a higher salinity (Ec. 18 dS.m-1), the rate of germination was decreased and the mean germination time was increased for Sorghum seeds irrigated with saline water of Ec. 0.3- 4 dS. m-1. It was found that in Tabat cultivars, there was a significantly higher percentage of geminated seeds. Data obtained indicated that plant height was indirectly related to salinity levels with higher stem lengths for all cultivars grown in fresh water or saline water of Ec. 4 dS.m-1. Growth of Tabat cultivar expressed via stem length was found to supersede the Wad Ahmed cultivar. Blended water with salinities up to Ec of 9 dS. m-1 resulted in no negative impacts on germination and growth of both Tabat and Wad Ahmed cultivars. The results may be used as a tool to screen salt tolerance in the early growth stages of large quantities of sorghum genotypes.
Sorghum; Germination; Seedling; Salinity; Sea Water; Water Blending
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