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Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) physiological, chemical and growth responses to irrigation with saline water

Hirich, Abdelaziz; El Omari, Halima; Jackobsen, Sven-Erik; Lamaddalena, Nicola; Hamdy, Atef; Ragab, Ragab; Jelloul, Ahmed; Choukr-Allah, Redouane. 2014 Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) physiological, chemical and growth responses to irrigation with saline water. Australian Journal of Crop Science, 8 (5). 646-654.

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Abstract/Summary

Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is the third most important food legume grown in the world and a favourite food crop in Morocco. Morocco is a semi-arid country with limited fresh water resources. In order to meet the food demand, increasing attention is being given to the use of non-conventional water resources such as saline/brackish water and treated waste water for irrigation. With this in mind, an experiment was conducted in the south of Morocco to investigate the effect of irrigation with saline water on a local variety of chickpea. Irrigation with water of different salinity levels was carried out on pot experiments. Differences in water uptake and plant growth; as well as proline, soluble sugar, and Na+ and K+ contents of the plant were quantified. The results showed a negative relationship between increasing water salinity and most of the measured plant growth parameters. Irrigation water salinity has negatively affected growth and biomass accumulation and led to reduced grain yield, water uptake and water productivity. In contrast, proline, soluble sugars, Na+ and Na+: K+ ratio increased with increasing irrigation water salinity. The findings highlighted the role of proline and soluble sugars as osmolytes produced by chickpea to mitigate the effect of salinity stress. The added value of these results is that the crop’s responses to salinity are quantified. The obtained values can be used to determine ‘threshold values’; should the salinity of the irrigation water go above these threshold values one may expect the crop yield parameters to be affected. The quantified responses also indicate the rate of change of yield parameters in response to the irrigation water salinity level. This could help in avoiding significant yield reduction when deciding on the irrigation water salinity level to be used for the studied chickpea variety.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.4 - Develop novel and improved methods to enable the sustainable management of freshwaters and wetlands
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management
CEH Sections: Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 1835-2693
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper, freely available on journal's website - Official URL link provides full text
Additional Keywords: Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), irrigation, salinity, crop growth, yield, osmolytes, sugar, sodium and potassium contents in chickpea, stomatal conductance
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Related URLs:
Date made live: 19 May 2014 10:22 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/506188

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