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Puccinellia (Puccinellia ciliata Bor.) fairly resistant to salinity and used as forage for livestock in China, Australia, and Turkey. In this study, our objective was to determine the effects of salinity on growth and various photosynthetic pigments of an improved population of Puccinellia via recurrent selection. To accomplish this, effects of salinity on seedlings growth of homogenous Puccinellia was examined, one week after emerging of radicle from seeds. Seeds were germinated on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with 6% agar. Seedling growth was studied under different levels of NaCl salinity (0, 10, 20, 30, 40 μS/cm). Salinity applications were carried out for 6 weeks. Cultures were maintained in growth chambers at 24±2ºC and 16/8 light/dark conditions. Germination was scored during 2 weeks after culture initiation. The experiment was performed in a completely randomized design with three replicates. Plant growth parameters such as the number of radicle and tillers, maximum radicle and shoot length, plants fresh and dry weights were investigated. Photosynthetic pigments such as total chlorophyll, chlorophyll a, b, chlorophyll a/b ratio, total carotenoid, β- carotene, lutein and neoxanthin were examined. The maximum values for tiller number per plant, the maximum length of shoot and chlorophyll b were found in the 20 µs/cm, while the maximum length of the radicle was recorded at 10 µs/cm NaCl treatment. It was concluded that low salinity levels (10-20 μS/cm) increased seedling growth, while high salinity levels (30 and 40 μS/cm) inhibited the growth significantly. These results indicate that P. ciliata is a promising salt-tolerant and can be grown productively under low to moderate saline conditions between 10-20 µs/cm.
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