Physiological and Genetic Responses of Salt-stressed Tunisian Durum (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum) Cultivars

  • Kim, Sang Heon (Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, Korea University) ;
  • Kim, Dae Yeon (Division of Biotechnology, Korea University) ;
  • Yacoubi, Ines (Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax) ;
  • Seo, Yong Weon (Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, Korea University)
  • Received : 2018.09.08
  • Accepted : 2018.10.02
  • Published : 2018.12.31


Durum (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum) is a major crop species cultivated for human consumption worldwide. In Tunisia, salt stress is one of the main problems that limit crop production. 'Mahmoudi' was selected as the most salt-sensitive out of 11 Tunisian durum cultivars. Using the salt-tolerant cultivar 'Om Rabia', resistant and susceptible cultivars were evaluated to compare genetic responses under salt stress. At the fully expanded third leaf stage, salt stress was applied by submerging the pots in 500 mM NaCl for 5 min every day for saline water irrigation in the greenhouse. The treatment was applied for 1 week and salt stress tolerance was determined by changes of growth parameters to the control condition. The salt tolerance trait index and salt tolerance index were calculated and used as selection criteria. The expression levels of TdHKT1;4, TdHKT1;5, and TdSOS1 were examined using qPCR. For further evaluation of physiological responses, salt stress (150 mM NaCl) was additionally applied for 48 h at the fully expanded third-leaf stage. Increased expression of the genes responsible for salt tolerance and proline content in tolerant durum can be used to broaden genetic diversity and provide genetic resources for the durum breeding program.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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