Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Environ Exp Biol (2016) 14: 15–21
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Environmental and

Environ Exp Biol (2016) 14: 15–21

Orginal Articles

Evaluation of performance of different barley genotypes irrigated with saline water in South Tunisian Saharan conditions

Zied Hammami1*, Karim Kadri2, Zied Jmel1, Ali Sahli1, Makram Belhaj Fraj3, Hafed Naser4, Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva5, Youssef Trifa1
1 Laboratory of Cereal Genetics, National Institute of Agriculture of Tunisia 43, Avenue Charles Nicole, 1082 Tunis, Tunisia
2 Centre Régional des Recherches en Agriculture Oasienne, 2260 Dégache, Tunisia
3 International Center for Biosaline Agriculture,P. O. Box 14660, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
4 National Institute of Research of Rural Engineering, Waters and forests of Tunis, Tunisia, BP 10 Ariana 2080, Tunisia
5 P. O. Box 7, Miki-cho post office, Ikenobe 3011-2, Kagawa-ken, 761-0799, Japan
* Corresponding author, E-mail: hammamizied@live.fr


Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is an important crop in Tunisia, especially in the south, which is characterized by an arid Saharan climate. Water resources, when available, are saline. In this study, 26 barley genotypes were evaluated in Saharan conditions. Plants were irrigated with saline water. Germination percentage, height, leaf area, tiller number, percentage of senescing leaves, leaf chlorophyll content, shoot dry weight and grain yield varied significantly between genotypes. This implies that important intraspecific genetic variation in this germplasm exists in response to salinity and aridity. The estimated grain yield of the introduced cultivar ‘113/1B’ and a local landrace ‘Ardhaoui ‘reached 1.1 t ha–1, despite these saline and arid conditions, and exceeded the overall national average yield of about 0.75 t ha–1. Selection of these genotypes can be profitable when grown in marginal areas using brackish water. The soil electric conductivity did not increase at the experimental location following saline irrigation: 2.30 dS m–1 at sowing and 2.37 dS m–1 at harvest, indicating that there is no risk of salt accumulation in sandy soil.

Key words: barley, Saharian environment, salinity, yield.

Environ Exp Biol (2016) 14: 15–21
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb.14.03

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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