Morphological, physiological, and biochemical responses to NaCl-induced salt stress in mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) varieties
Seventeen mungbean varieties [Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek] were subjected to 100-400 mM salinity stress at the germination stage, and the indices of seed germination and early seedling growth were analysed. With the increasing salinity, seed germination and seedling growth attributes were affected in all varieties. Principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis of varietal responses on the germination and seeding growth attributes at 400 mM NaCl separated seventeen varieties into four distinct clusters. Principal component analysis at lower salt stress levels indicated that the attributes of germination and early seedling growth are reliable to identify salt-tolerant mungbean varieties. In contrast, only germination attributes are reliable at higher salinity levels. Two salt-susceptible and salt-tolerant varieties were further assessed for NaCl-induced physiological and biochemical changes. Levels of proteins, secondary metabolites, osmolyte, and antioxidants were increased at lower salt concentrations but reduced at higher salt concentrations. Photosynthetic pigments decreased and membrane damage increased under salinity. Varieties that showed tolerance to salt stress can be used in salinity-affected agriculture fields after validating their salt tolerance in field experiments.
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