Salinity is a global agricultural problem, resulting in a significant reduction in the plantation areas and the crop yields, especially in arid and semiarid regions. The date palm is relatively salt-tolerant plant species, although the nature of salt tolerance is poorly understood. In this study, the salt stress responses of a salt-tolerant "Umsila" was compared with salt-susceptible "Zabad" date palm cultivars. Various physiological parameters, plant-water relations, and anatomical characteristics were analyzed. The results revealed that although salinity has negatively affected both cultivars, Umsila exhibited more stable photosynthesis than Zabad as reflected by the quantum yield (Qy) and the stomatal conductance (GS). Similarly, Umsila showed a more dynamic root system and efficient water relations than Zabad as demonstrated by the leaf water potential (LWP) and relative water content (RWC) during salinity. Umsila also accumulated greater abundances of soluble sugars, potassium (K+), calcium (Ca+2), proline, glycine betaine, and lignin and formed extra layers of Casparian strips in the root tissues when the seedlings were grown under saline conditions. Together, the results obtained from this study have offered some insights into the salt tolerance mechanisms in the date palm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science