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Improved Tolerance of Three Saudi Pearl Millet Cultivars (Pennisetum spicatum) to Salt Stress by Mycorrhiza

Abdulkhaliq Alshoaibi*

Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah, 41311, Saudi Arabia

* Corresponding Author: Abdulkhaliq Alshoaibi. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Mycorrhizal Fungi and Sustainable Development of Agriculture)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2021, 90(3), 731-745.


Seeds of three Saudi pearl millet cultivars (Pennisetum spicatum) from three regions (Madinah, Khulais and Jaizan) were inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae obtained from the Agriculture Research Center of Giza, Egypt to enhance their salt tolerance. Five different NaCl concentrations (0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 mM) were used for treating cultivars with and without mycorrhiza. Growth rates, chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm), proline content and gas exchange were measured to determine the effect of salinity on these cultivars. The results indicated that compared to cultivars without mycorrhiza, all cultivars with mycorrhiza had enhanced growth and physiological parameters including shoot and root length, area and number of leaves, fresh and dry weights of shoots and roots, chlorophyll contents and gas exchanges at 0 and 30 mM of salinity. In addition, the measurements of the different growth rates showed higher growth performance of the cultivars from Madinah and Khulais than the cultivar from Jaizan. However, all cultivars with and without mycorrhiza showed significant reductions in growth rates, chlorophyll contents and gas exchanges at a salinity of 60 mM than those grown at 0 and 30 mM. Moreover, the values of Fv/Fm were significantly reduced in all cultivars with and without mycorrhiza grown at 60 mM than in those grown at 0 mM and 30 mM. Proline contents indicated a progressive increase with the elevation of NaCl concentration stress. The proline contents in the mycorrhiza-inoculated cultivars were significantly higher than those in the non-inoculated cultivars. On the other hand, all cultivars with and without mycorrhiza underwent senescence within four weeks of growth at salinity concentrations of 90 mM and 120 mM. Therefore, relatively low salinity must be maintained to achieve high growth rates and gas exchanges of these inoculated cultivars.


Cite This Article

Alshoaibi, A. (2021). Improved Tolerance of Three Saudi Pearl Millet Cultivars (Pennisetum spicatum) to Salt Stress by Mycorrhiza. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 90(3), 731–745.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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