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Keywords:

  • Oryza sativa;
  • Triticum aestivum;
  • heritability;
  • Poaceae;
  • potassium:sodium selectivity;
  • rice;
  • salinity;
  • salt tolerance;
  • sodium transport;
  • wheat

ABSTRACT

The heritability of sodium and potassium transport to the xylem was measured by the regression of Fn+1, on Fn means in two segregating breeding populations of rice (Oryza sativa L.). The narrow-sense heritabilities of shoot sodium concentration were 0.42 and 0.43 in the two populations, respectively, and the corresponding values for the heritability of shoot potassium concentration were 0.46 and 0.52. The sodium: potassium ratio was apparently heritable (0.36 and 0.40) because it was regressed positively on sodium concentration and negatively on potassium concentration. There was no significant relationship between the shoot sodium and potassium concentrations themselves. It is concluded that sodium and potassium uptake in rice are controlled by different genes which segregate independently. The magnitude of the transpirational bypass flow was estimated to be some 10 times greater in rice than in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and was found to be highly correlated with sodium uptake in rice but not in wheat. It is concluded that the bypass flow provides an additional pathway for sodium uptake in rice and that this accounts for the functional and genetic independence of sodium and potassium uptake in rice and consequently for the lesser prominence of potassium:sodium discrimination in rice than in wheat.