In vitro Evaluation of Seed Germination in Twelve Alfalfa Cultivars under Salt Stress
  • Walid Soufan*, Yaser Hassan Dewir, Nasser A. Al-Suhaibani
Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia
* Corresponding Author: Walid Soufan. Email:
Received 10 April 2022; Accepted 03 May 2022 ; Published online 14 June 2022
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), when exposed to abiotic stress such as salinity, suffers significant losses in yield and productivity. The present study evaluated the salinity tolerance of 12 alfalfa cultivars in vitro using five concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl), ranging from 0 to 250 mmol L−1 . The results obtained in the current study revealed that the Saudi cultivars, Kasimi and Hassawi, and the German cultivar (Berlin) had the highest salinity tolerance in terms of germination percentage (GP), corrected germination rate index (CGRI), days to reach 50% germination (GT50), and ability to form cotyledonary and true leaves. Under mmol L−1 NaCl, the Saudi cultivar Kasimi cultivar showed GP, CGRI, and GT50 of 55.20%, 123.15, and 3.77 days, respectively. Similarly, the German cultivar Berlin showed GP, CGRI, and GT50 of 50.06%, 86.61, and 5.17 days, respectively. These findings might reveal a pivotal aspect in salt tolerance in alfalfa. Our results will help to select salt-tolerant alfalfa cultivars that could thrive in arid and semi-arid areas with salinity problems.
Medicago sativa L.; salinity; germination; screening; salt tolerance