Table of Contents
ISRN Agronomy
Volume 2012, Article ID 151537, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/151537
Research Article

The Dwarf Saltwort (Salicornia bigelovii Torr.): Evaluation of Breeding Populations

1USDA-ARS Research Lab and Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, 803 Iowa Avenue, Morris, MN 56267, USA
2Plant Genetic Resources Program, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, P.O. Box 14660, Dubai, UAE

Received 13 April 2012; Accepted 13 May 2012

Academic Editors: H. Bucking, O. Merah, and K. L. Sahrawat

Copyright © 2012 Abdullah A. Jaradat and Mohammed Shahid. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Breeding populations of the dwarf saltwort (Salicornia   bigelovii Torr. (Chenopodiaceae)) have been evaluated under high seawater salinity (45 dS m−1) for phenotypic, morphometric, biomass and seed traits to select and develop genotypes for biomass, seed, and vegetable production using sea and brackish water and marginal land resources. The largest variation between populations was found for harvest index and the smallest for number of spikes per plant; however, a more complex structure of variance was found when fixed and random factors were considered. Multivariate relationships between and within architectural and fitness-related traits suggest that biomass and seed yield gains can be achieved by manipulating plant architecture. Discriminant analyses between populations resulted in populations being correctly (mean 83%) classified. Prediction ( 𝑅 2 ) and validation ( 𝑄 2 ) coefficients in the partial least squares regression modeling, using three phenotypic markers, 12 morphometric traits, nine populations and 24 families(populations), were 0.86 and 0.78; respectively ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 2 ) for plant dry weight and 0.89 and 0.83, respectively ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1 ) for seed yield per plant. We developed a procedure to identify populations and families within populations with favorable combinations of phenotypic and morphometric traits that are suitable for the development of Salicornia varieties for biomass, seed, or green vegetable production.