Field Screening of Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) Mutant and Commercial Genotypes for Salt Tolerance

Growth and physiological attributes and sugar quality parameters are considered key criteria for screening sugarcane cultivars for salt tolerance. Maximum cane growth and yield were found in a positive check (K88-92™) as well as in cv. (A3)AE1-18™ when subjected to salt affected soil. Percent reduction in Fv/Fm, quantum efficiency of PSII (ÎPSII) and water use efficiency (WUE) due to salt stress was considerably low in K88-92™, (A3)AE1-18™ and KK3™ which was associated with very low salt-induced reduction in net photosynthetic rate and growth characters such as shoot length, number of internodes, and internodal length as well as yield traits. In addition, brix, polarlization, fiber, purity and commercial cane sugar (CCS) in (A18)AE2-15™ and (A3)AE1-18™ were well maintained under saline stress. By subjecting the data for various physiological, growth, yield and sugar quality parameters to the Ward™ cluster analysis K88-92™ (positive check), (A3)AE1-18™ and KK3™ were identified as salt tolerant, whereas (A11)AE1-114™ and K97-32™ as salt sensitive.

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