Document Type : Research Paper
In most southern provinces of Iran, soil salinity is a growing problem, particularly in irrigated agricultural areas, and has been found to reduce wheat yield, dramatically. To investigate the effect of sodium chloride on two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars, four levels of salinity: 0, 4, 8 and 12 dS/m, were employed as a factorial experiment arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications in a controlled environment of the greenhouse during 2006-2007. The results indicated that increasing salinity from 0 to 12 dS/m, decreased the emergence percentage significantly. Two cultivars of Kavir and Shiraz responded differently to salinity, so that Kavir showed a significantly higher emergence rate. This cultivar also had greater shoot potassium content. Number of tillers and leaves per plant and, also, plant height were decreased upon increasing salinity level. The shoot sodium content was, also increased by increasing the salinity level in both cultivars. However, sodium content of Kavir in comparison with Shiraz, was lower, probably due to Na+ exclusion mechanisms in this cultivar. The highest grain number and phytomass was obtained from Kavir at the lowest salinity level. Phytomass and grain yield were, also significantly decreased as the result of salinity. Less adverse effect of salinity on Kavir indicates that this cultivar might be suitable for saline soils, an object which worth more investigation.