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The Effects of Salinity on The Germination, Root Height, Stem and Plant Height

Abstract

Soil salinity is one of the most important constraints limiting crop production in arid and semi arid regions. Seed germination is a critical stage in the life history of individual plants and salt tolerance during germination is crucial for the establishment of plants growing in saline soils. The research was carried out to find out the effect of salinity on the germination, root height, and stem height and plantlet height of three local varieties. Five different concentration of saline water was made from 0 to 8g/l. The plant was provided with this saline water. It was noted that rate of germination, root height, stem height and plantlet height decreased with the increased in salt concentration. Highest germination percentages and other growth parameters related to control (0g/L) in all varieties and lowest germination occurs at 8g/L

Introduction

1.0. Overview:

The Brassicaceae is a family of plants that provide food, fodder and forage (Dixon, 2007). Increased interest in energy self sustainability in the United States has brought new attention to the importance of the Brassicaceae including Brassica napus, mustard (Brassica juncea) and camelin Camelina sativa (Putnam et al., 1993) as biofuel feedstocks. In the United States production of Brassicas for biofuel has until recently been primarily in the northern tier of states. In that portion of the US, and adjacent areas of Canada, the concern is how to best germinate seed at temperatures from 10 to 22 ◦C (Nykiforuk and Johnson-Flanagan, 1994; Zheng et al., 1994; Vigil et al., 1997; Willenborg et al., 2004). Brassica production is being considered for other geographic areas in the United States where higher soil temperatures could occur at sowing. Varieties of winter hardy Brassica napus have been developed for use in the southern Great Plains with establishment dates from mid-August to late-September for harvest the following spring (Boyle et al., 2004a, and b). Soil temperatures range from 23 to 28 ◦C. Russo and Bruton (2008) reported that planting dates for Brassica napus in Oklahoma could be extended to late-October for some varieties; soil temperatures can be 20 ◦C at this time.

Brassica juncea, also known as Indian mustard or mustard greens or leaf mustard, is perennial herb, usually grown as an annual or biennial.

The English word “mustard” is derived from the Middle English “moustarde”, a combination of the Old French words “moust” which means must and “ardens” meaning burning (Antol, 1999). “Moust” is derived from the Latin “mustum”, meaning “new wine”. Romans were the first to experiment with the preparation of mustard as a condiment. They mixed unfermented grape juice, known as “must” with ground mustard seeds to make “burning must”, mustum ardens-hence “mustard” (Hazen, 1993).

Brassica juncea is a herbaceous plant with an erect, branched stem up to 1.0 m tall, with a taproot reaching 60-80 cm in depth, lower leaves petioled, green, sometimes with a whitish bloom, ovate to obovate, variously lobed with toothed or frilled edges; upper leaves subentire, short and petioled, constricted at intervals, sessile. The flowers consist of 4 (four) yellow petals arranged in a cruciform manner, 4 (four) yellowish green sepals, a short green pistil with a knobby stigma, and tetradynamous stamens with yellow anthers. They are pollinated by bees that soon develop into sickle-shaped green seed pods. Seeds are sown in very early spring. Plants are generally harvested before fruits are fully ripe to reduce shattering.

The growing period is from 40–60 days depending on the variety and weather conditions. Indian mustard is a cool-season vegetable, growing well at monthly average temperatures ranging from 15 to 18°C. It can tolerate annual precipitation of about 500 to 4,200 mm, annual temperature of 6 to 27°C and pH of 4.3 to 8.3.

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