Special Issue "Crop Salinity Tolerance"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Matthew Gilliham

School of Agriculture, Food & Wine and The Waite Research Institute, University of Adelaide Waite Campus, PMB1, Glen Osmond, South Australia, 5064, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61 8 8313 8145

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Salinity is a growing problem for global agriculture, as it can reduce crop yield and quality. Predictions have been made that, due to crop management and changing climates, the area of salinized agricultural land is expected to double within the next half-century. This includes irrigated agriculture, which produces 40% of the world’s calories, with the area increasing from 20 to 40%, so salinity is a real concern for meeting food security targets.

In recent years, advances have been made in understanding the mechanisms of crop salt tolerance, and of agronomic solutions to reducing the impact of salt on crop yield in a number of crops including rice, soybean, wheat, barley and grapevine. Plant breeding has also resulted in gains in the tolerance of crops in the field. However, most major crop plants are still relatively salt sensitive so there is room for improvement in food production in environments with salinity present.

This Special Issue will focus on “Crop salinity tolerance”. We welcome novel research, reviews and opinion pieces covering all related topics including soil chemistry, hydrology, beneficial micro-organisms, crop genetics and improvement, novel crops, phenotyping, physiological responses to salt, management solutions, modelling, case-studies from the field, and policy positions.

Prof. Dr. Matthew Gilliham
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • food security
  • crop salt tolerance
  • crop genetics
  • soil chemistry
  • crop phenotype

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Response of Chlorophyll, Carotenoid and SPAD-502 Measurement to Salinity and Nutrient Stress in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Abiotic stress can alter key physiological constituents and functions in green plants. Improving the capacity to monitor this response in a non-destructive manner is of considerable interest, as it would offer a direct means of initiating timely corrective action. Given the vital role [...] Read more.
Abiotic stress can alter key physiological constituents and functions in green plants. Improving the capacity to monitor this response in a non-destructive manner is of considerable interest, as it would offer a direct means of initiating timely corrective action. Given the vital role that plant pigments play in the photosynthetic process and general plant physiological condition, their accurate estimation would provide a means to monitor plant health and indirectly determine stress response. The aim of this work is to evaluate the response of leaf chlorophyll and carotenoid (Ct) content in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to changes in varying application levels of soil salinity and fertilizer applied over a complete growth cycle. The study also seeks to establish and analyze relationships between measurements from a SPAD-502 instrument and the leaf pigments, as extracted at the anthesis stage. A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted in triplicate by employing distinct treatments of both soil salinity and fertilizer dose at three levels. Results showed that higher doses of fertilizer increased the content of leaf pigments across all levels of soil salinity. Likewise, increasing the level of soil salinity significantly increased the chlorophyll and Ct content per leaf area at all levels of applied fertilizer. However, as an adaptation process and defense mechanism under salinity stress, leaves were found to be thicker and narrower. Thus, on a per-plant basis, increasing salinity significantly reduced the chlorophyll (Chlt) and Ct produced under each fertilizer treatment. In addition, interaction effects of soil salinity and fertilizer application on the photosynthetic pigment content were found to be significant, as the higher amounts of fertilizer augmented the detrimental effects of salinity. A strong positive (R2 = 0.93) and statistically significant (p < 0.001) relationship between SPAD-502 values and Chlt and between SPAD-502 values and Ct content (R2 = 0.85) was determined based on a large (n = 277) dataset. We demonstrate that the SPAD-502 readings and plant photosynthetic pigment content per-leaf area are profoundly affected by salinity and nutrient stress, but that the general form of their relationship remains largely unaffected by the stress. As such, a generalized regression model can be used for Chlt and Ct estimation, even across a range of salinity and fertilizer gradients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Salinity Tolerance)
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Open AccessArticle A Short Non-Saline Sprinkling Increases the Tuber Weights of Saline Sprinkler Irrigated Potatoes
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 3 January 2017
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Abstract
Previous work has shown that a short non-saline sprinkling, following saline sprinkling, increased crop growth. We incorporated this finding into an investigation of two approaches to the conjunctive use of saline and non-saline water sources for sprinkler irrigation of potatoes viz., (i) mixing [...] Read more.
Previous work has shown that a short non-saline sprinkling, following saline sprinkling, increased crop growth. We incorporated this finding into an investigation of two approaches to the conjunctive use of saline and non-saline water sources for sprinkler irrigation of potatoes viz., (i) mixing waters prior to application, and (ii) keeping waters temporally separate, that is commencing each irrigation with saline water and finishing it with non-saline sprinkling. The latter approach delayed canopy senescence and increased tuber weight by at least 150%. Under both approaches, soil salinities and leaf and tuber concentrations of Na+ and Cl were similar. Thus, the advantages of a non-saline sprinkling cannot be explained in terms of its effect on either soil osmotic potential or bulk tissue concentrations of putatively toxic ions Na+ and Cl. We propose that the positive effect of finishing irrigations with a non-saline sprinkling may be attributed to either dilution, and hence increase in osmotic potential, of the water film that remains on the leaf after each irrigation or its effect on the distribution of the putatively toxic ions Na+ and Cl within tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Salinity Tolerance)
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Open AccessArticle Genetic Diversity in Barley and Wheat for Tolerance to Soil Constraints
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 28 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Surface soil sodicity as well as subsoil salinity, acidity, and phytotoxic concentrations of chloride (Cl) are major soil constraints to crop production in many soils of sub-tropical, north-eastern Australia. The identification of genotypes tolerant to these soil constraints may be an option to [...] Read more.
Surface soil sodicity as well as subsoil salinity, acidity, and phytotoxic concentrations of chloride (Cl) are major soil constraints to crop production in many soils of sub-tropical, north-eastern Australia. The identification of genotypes tolerant to these soil constraints may be an option to maintain and improve productivity on these soils. We evaluated performance of 11 barley and 17 wheat genotypes grown on two sites <0.5 km apart. Compared to the non-sodic site, the sodic site had significantly higher Cl concentration (>800 mg·Cl·kg−1) in the subsoil (0.9–1.3 m soil depth) and higher exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) (>6%) in the surface and subsoil. Barley grain yield and plant available water capacity (PAWC) were reduced between 5%–25% and 40%–66%, respectively, for different genotypes at the sodic site as compared to the non-sodic site. For wheat genotypes, grain yield was between 8% and 33% lower at the sodic site compared to the non-sodic site and PAWC was between 3% and 37% lower. Most barley and wheat genotypes grown at the sodic site showed calcium (Ca) deficiency symptoms on younger leaves. Analysis of the youngest fully mature leaf (YML) confirmed that genotypes grown at the sodic site with Ca concentration < 0.2% exhibited deficiency symptoms. Grain yields of both barley and wheat genotypes grown on the sodic and non-sodic sites increased significantly with increasing Ca and K in YML and decreased significantly with increasing Na and Cl concentrations in YML. Sodium (Na) concentrations in YML of wheat genotypes grown at the sodic site were 10-fold higher than those from the non-sodic site whereas this increase was only two-fold in barley genotypes. In step-wise regression, the PAWC of barley and wheat genotypes grown on sodic and non-sodic sites was the principal determinant of variability of barley and wheat grain yield. Including the Ca concentration in the YML of wheat genotypes and K:Na ratio in the YML of barley genotypes significantly improved the prediction of grain yield in the regression analysis. Barley genotypes, Mackay and Kaputar, were relatively susceptible while Baronesse and Grout were relatively more tolerant to sodicity. Wheat genotypes Gregory and Stampede were generally relatively more susceptible to sodicity, and genotypes Baxter, Hume, and the experimental line HSF1-255 were relatively more tolerant than the former group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Salinity Tolerance)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Improvement of Salinity Stress Tolerance in Rice: Challenges and Opportunities
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 3 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is an important staple crop that feeds more than one half of the world’s population and is the model system for monocotyledonous plants. However, rice is very sensitive to salinity and is the most salt sensitive cereal crop [...] Read more.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is an important staple crop that feeds more than one half of the world’s population and is the model system for monocotyledonous plants. However, rice is very sensitive to salinity and is the most salt sensitive cereal crop with a threshold of 3 dSm−1 for most cultivated varieties. Despite many attempts using different strategies to improve salinity tolerance in rice, the achievements so far are quite modest. This review aims to discuss challenges that hinder the improvement of salinity stress tolerance in rice as well as potential opportunities for enhancing salinity stress tolerance in this important crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Salinity Tolerance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Soil Chemistry Factors Confounding Crop Salinity Tolerance—A Review
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 18 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 29 October 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The yield response of various crops to salinity under field conditions is affected by soil processes and environmental conditions. The composition of dissolved ions depend on soil chemical processes such as cation or anion exchange, oxidation-reduction reactions, ion adsorption, chemical speciation, complex formation, [...] Read more.
The yield response of various crops to salinity under field conditions is affected by soil processes and environmental conditions. The composition of dissolved ions depend on soil chemical processes such as cation or anion exchange, oxidation-reduction reactions, ion adsorption, chemical speciation, complex formation, mineral weathering, solubility, and precipitation. The nature of cations and anions determine soil pH, which in turn affects crop growth. While the ionic composition of soil solution determine the osmotic and ion specific effects on crops, the exchangeable ions indirectly affect the crop growth by influencing soil strength, water and air movement, waterlogging, and soil crusting. This review mainly focuses on the soil chemistry processes that frustrate crop salinity tolerance which partly explain the poor results under field conditions of salt tolerant genotypes selected in the laboratory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Salinity Tolerance)
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