Classification and salt tolerance analysis of barley varieties
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Six varieties of barley (Hordeum vulgare), five of which were provided by ICARDA, were tested in a green house experiment for their salt tolerance. Afterwards the ICARDA variety Melusine, selected from this experiment for its combination of high yield and salt tolerance, was compared in a lysimeter experiment with the variety ISABON3, a very salt tolerant land race originally from Afghanistan. The variety ISABON3 showed a larger grain and straw yield under non-saline and saline conditions. The higher salt tolerance expressed itself during the growth period in: • a higher stomatal conductance during the irrigation interval; • a higher maximum osmotic potential; • a more vigorous growth, less affected by salinity; • no salinity effect on plant height and number of productive stems; • less salinity effect on water use efficiency. The less tolerant variety Melusine showed a better grain quality, expressed by its protein content that even slightly increased at increasing salinity against a decrease of the protein content of ISABON3. The varietal salt tolerance clearly affects the water use efficiency and the salt tolerance classification.