Evaluating seedling establishment of tomato (lycoperscum esculentummill.) varieties as influenced by nacl stress

Kassaye Tolessa, Adugna Debela and Getahun Lemessa

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most important, widely grown and consumed vegetable crops next to potato in the world. However, salinity stress now days is becoming the most important problems in all crops including tomato productivity. Thus, finding salt tolerance varieties at different developmental stages is better option to overcome such problems. Therefore the effect of salt concentration (0.1%, 0.3%, 0.4%, &0.6% of NaCl) on the growth of tomato varieties (Bishola, Miya, melkashola, Cochoro, chali & Eshete) was studied with the objective of investigating the effects of NaCl on seedlings establishment of different tomato varieties. The experiment was conducted at JUCAVM, Horticulture greenhouse from February 2011 to May 2011. The tomato seedlings were transplanted to sterilized soil on pots and salinity treatment was started five days after transplanting. All varieties were maintained under different salt concentrations and one control throughout their growing period under greenhouse condition. The result showed that the level of NaCl salt concentration increases, root and shoot length, leaf number root fresh and dry weight of tomato varieties decreased. Among six different varieties tested Melkashola showed better tolerance to the given salt concentrations in terms of root length, root fresh weight and root dry weight, while for Bishola variety as salt concentration level increases it was observed a significant reduction in root fresh and dry weight as well as leaf number. Hence Melkashola variety could be used in the area where salinity is main problems. However, further investigation is needed to test these tomato varieties at higher salt level than used in this experiment. Moreover, it needs more research to identify the variety which will give higher yield under higher salinity.