Carob is a valuable leguminous species for its productions but also for forestation of arid and degraded areas threatened by soil erosion and desertification processes. However, large-scale cultivation of this species is hampered by the difficult propagation by cuttings or seeds. Researches to evaluate genotype tolerance to saline and drought stress during germination and first plant establishment, are also inhibited by the scarce seed germination. In this study, carob seeds, from wild and domesticated carob genotypes collected in a representative area of the Mediterranean basin (Sicily, Italy), were subjected to germination tests under isotonic solutions of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and sodium chloride (NaCl) at −0.5, −1.0, −1.5 MPa. Before germination tests, a 20 min pre-treatment with 96% sulphuric acid was necessary to overcome seed coat dormancy which does not permit germination. Differences in drought and salinity tolerance were determined in the different genotypes during germination. All genotypes exhibited a higher sensitivity to drought stress as compared to salinity stress. The observed differences in some genetically inherited germination characteristics (i.e. base Ψb(50)s and hydrotimes) suggest genetic differences even in seeds of individual old trees situated in close areas, as previously found in other countries of the Mediterranean basin. A greater sensitivity to stress was determined during early radicle growth, an essential feature for early plant establishment in marginal dry areas. In this paper, a protocol to test germination under simulated stress conditions (drought and salinity stress) was established. Including in the analysis other parameters representative of early embryo growth (i.e. radicle elongation), this protocol may be useful to select genotypes for breeding programs towards the selection of tolerant cultivars or rootstocks. It may be also applied to other leguminous species with a difficult germination.
|Titolo:||Evaluation of variability to drought and saline stress through the germination of different ecotypes of carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) using a hydrotime model|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|