Comparative Study of the Effects of Salinity on Plant Growth, Nodulation, and Legheamoglobin Content in Kabuli and Desi Cultivars of Cicer arietinum (L.)
This study was conducted to compare plant growth, nodulation and legheamoglobin content in Kabuli and Desi cultivars of chickpea (Cicer arietinum (L.)) under saline conditions. All the varieties expressed greater adverse effects on the plant height, dry weight of shoot and root at 30 and 60 DAS whereas the deleterious effects of the salinity minimized at 90 DAS. It is evident that variety BG-256 registered maximum inhibition at all the three growth stages (30, 60 and 90 DAS) as compared to varieties PUSA-939 and PUSA-1053. Relative growth rate (RGR) is high in PUSA-1053 (Kabuli tolerant), stands midway in PUSA-939 (Kabuli moderate tolerant) and is low in BG-256 (Desi sensitive). Maximum nodulation was reported in variety PUSA-1053 at all the growth stages and all salinity levels (4– 16 EC) while minimum nodulation occurred in variety BG-256. The data clearly indicate that legheamoglobin content of the nodules increased at 60 DAS and declined thereafter. Kabuli tolerant variety (PUSA-1053) showed highest and Desi sensitive (BG-256) showed least legheamoglobin content at all the salinity levels from 4-16 EC and at all the growth stages from 30-90 DAS. The dry weigh of shoot and number of nodules were affected more adversely than nodule dry weight and legheamoglobin content. It indicates that Kabuli cultivars are more tolerant to saline stress and show less deleterious effects on nodules and nitrogen fixation efficiency.