Preliminary Assessment of the Effect of Saline Water Used in Irrigation on the Growth of the Local Barley Cultivar (Harma)
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ABSTRACT The effect of gradual increase m soil salinity, using diluted solutions ofseawater, on growth and yield of the local barley cul-tivar (Harma) was examined. Harma barley did not withstand osmotic shock higher than ECe of 14 dSm-1 , while it permitted better growth and produced grains at ECe of 23 to 28 dSm-1 when achieved by gradual manner. Growth analysis of individual leaves was investigated during the course of gradual increase in the level of soil salinity. Area of leaves and the fundamental growth processes (cell division and cell expansion) affecting the area were decreased as soil salinity increased by continuous irrigation with saline waters. Moreover, photosynthetic pigments showed considerable reduction with salt treatments. However, the main reduction in these pigments was in chlorophylls a and b, while carotenoids showed no consistent changes with salinity. Harma barley developed gradual potential resistance to salinity and proved to be more salt tolerant during post - flowering and yield formation stages.