Yuan Liu, Quanzhen Wang, Yunwei Zhang, Jian Cui, Guo Chen, Bao Xie, Chunhui Wu, Haitao Liu
||PLoS ONE, 2017, Vol.9 (1)
||Directory of Open Access Journals
The effects of salt-alkaline mixed stress on switchgrass were investigated by evaluating seed germination and the proline, malondialdehyde (MDA) and soluble sugar contents in three switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) cultivars in order to identify which can be successfully produced on marginal lands affected by salt-alkaline mixed stress. The experimental conditions consisted of four levels of salinity (10, 60, 110 and 160 mM) and four pH levels (7.1, 8.3, 9.5 and 10.7). The effects of salt-alkaline mixed stress with equivalent coupling of the salinity and pH level on the switchgrass were explored via model analyses. Switchgrass was capable of germinating and surviving well in all treatments under low-alkaline pH (pH≤8.3), regardless of the salinity. However, seed germination and seedling... growth were sharply reduced at higher pH values in conjunction with salinity. The salinity and pH had synergetic effects on the germination percentage, germination index, plumular length and the soluble sugar and proline contents in switchgrass. However, these two factors exhibited antagonistic effects on the radicular length of switchgrass. The combined effects of salinity and pH and the interactions between them should be considered when evaluating the strength of salt-alkaline mixed stress.