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Article

Characterization of Maize Hybrids (Zea mays L.) for Detecting Salt Tolerance Based on Morpho-Physiological Characteristics, Ion Accumulation and Genetic Variability at Early Vegetative Stage

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Department of Crop Botany, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh
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Department of Biology, College of Life Sciences, Yan’an University, Yan’an 716000, China
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Department of Plant Production, College of Food and Agriculture, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Graduate School of Integrated Science for Life, Hiroshima University, 1-4-4 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8528, Japan
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Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafrelsheikh 33516, Egypt
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anelia Dobrikova
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112549
Received: 11 October 2021 / Revised: 8 November 2021 / Accepted: 16 November 2021 / Published: 22 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
Increasing soil salinity due to global warming severely restricts crop growth and yield. To select and recommend salt-tolerant cultivars, extensive genotypic screening and examination of plants’ morpho-physiological responses to salt stress are required. In this study, 18 prescreened maize hybrid cultivars were examined at the early growth stage under a hydroponic system using multivariate analysis to demonstrate the genotypic and phenotypic variations of the selected cultivars under salt stress. The seedlings of all maize cultivars were evaluated with two salt levels: control (without NaCl) and salt stress (12 dS m−1 simulated with NaCl) for 28 d. A total of 18 morpho-physiological and ion accumulation traits were dissected using multivariate analysis, and salt tolerance index (STI) values of the examined traits were evaluated for grouping of cultivars into salt-tolerant and -sensitive groups. Salt stress significantly declined all measured traits except root–shoot ratio (RSR), while the cultivars responded differently. The cultivars were grouped into three clusters and the cultivars in Cluster-1 such as Prabhat, UniGreen NK41, Bisco 51, UniGreen UB100, Bharati 981 and Star Beej 7Star exhibited salt tolerance to a greater extent, accounting for higher STI in comparison to other cultivars grouped in Cluster-2 and Cluster-3. The high heritability (h2bs, >60%) and genetic advance (GAM, >20%) were recorded in 13 measured traits, indicating considerable genetic variations present in these traits. Therefore, using multivariate analysis based on the measured traits, six hybrid maize cultivars were selected as salt-tolerant and some traits such as Total Fresh Weight (TFW), Total Dry Weight (TDW), Total Na+, Total K+ contents and K+–Na+ Ratio could be effectively used for the selection criteria evaluating salt-tolerant maize genotypes at the early seedling stage. View Full-Text
Keywords: salt tolerance index; principal component analysis; plant biomass; ion accumulation; maize hybrid; heritability salt tolerance index; principal component analysis; plant biomass; ion accumulation; maize hybrid; heritability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huqe, M.A.S.; Haque, M.S.; Sagar, A.; Uddin, M.N.; Hossain, M.A.; Hossain, A.Z.; Rahman, M.M.; Wang, X.; Al-Ashkar, I.; Ueda, A.; EL Sabagh, A. Characterization of Maize Hybrids (Zea mays L.) for Detecting Salt Tolerance Based on Morpho-Physiological Characteristics, Ion Accumulation and Genetic Variability at Early Vegetative Stage. Plants 2021, 10, 2549. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112549

AMA Style

Huqe MAS, Haque MS, Sagar A, Uddin MN, Hossain MA, Hossain AZ, Rahman MM, Wang X, Al-Ashkar I, Ueda A, EL Sabagh A. Characterization of Maize Hybrids (Zea mays L.) for Detecting Salt Tolerance Based on Morpho-Physiological Characteristics, Ion Accumulation and Genetic Variability at Early Vegetative Stage. Plants. 2021; 10(11):2549. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112549

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huqe, Md A.S., Md S. Haque, Ashaduzzaman Sagar, Md N. Uddin, Md A. Hossain, AKM Z. Hossain, Md M. Rahman, Xiukang Wang, Ibrahim Al-Ashkar, Akihiro Ueda, and Ayman EL Sabagh. 2021. "Characterization of Maize Hybrids (Zea mays L.) for Detecting Salt Tolerance Based on Morpho-Physiological Characteristics, Ion Accumulation and Genetic Variability at Early Vegetative Stage" Plants 10, no. 11: 2549. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112549

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