Table of Contents
ISRN Biotechnology
Volume 2013, Article ID 382417, 11 pages
Research Article

NaCl Effects on In Vitro Germination and Growth of Some Senegalese Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) Cultivars

1Laboratoire Campus de Biotechnologies Végétales (LCBV), Département de Biologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, BP 5005, Dakar, Senegal
2Laboratoire Mixte International Adaptation des Plantes et microorganismes associés aux Stress Environnementaux (LAPSE), LCM, Centre de Recherche de Bel Air, BP 1386, Dakar 18524, Senegal
3Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR DIADE, 911 avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

Received 21 May 2013; Accepted 27 June 2013

Academic Editors: B. Castiglioni, Y. H. Cheong, and M. Shoda

Copyright © 2013 Mahamadou Thiam et al. 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.


Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) is one of the most important grain legumes in sub-Saharian regions. It contributes to man food security by providing a protein-rich diet. However, its production is limited by abiotic stresses such as salinity. This study aims to evaluate the salt tolerance of 15 cowpea cultivars, at germination stage. The seed germination process consisted of sowing them in agarified water (8 g·L−1) supplemented with 6 different concentrations of NaCl (0, 10, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mM). Results highlighted that high salt concentrations drastically reduced germination and significantly delayed the process for all varieties. A cowpea varietal effect towards the salt tolerance was noticed. Genotypes Diongoma, 58-78, and 58-191 were more salt-tolerant cultivars while Mougne and Yacine were more salt-sensitive ones as confirmed in the three groups of the dendrogram. NaCl effects on the early vegetative growth of seedlings were assessed with a tolerant (58-191) and a susceptible (Yacine) cultivar. Morphological (length and dry biomass) and physiological (chlorophyll and proline contents) parameter measurements revealed a negative effect of high (NaCl). However, 58-191 was much more salt tolerant, and the chlorophyll and proline contents were higher than those of Yacine genotype at increasing salt concentrations.