Rootstock Effect on the Tolerance of cv. Hass Avocado Plants to NaCl Stress

Mónica Castro V.1*, Rodrigo Iturrieta E.1, and Claudia Fassio O.1

The avocado tree (Persea americana Mill.) is one of the species most sensitive to salinity. Since the root system of this species is particularly affected by this type of stress, it is crucial to find a rootstock that is tolerant to saline water irrigation. Plant material from the cv. Hass was grafted on five rootstocks to find possible candidates: the clonal ‘Duke 7’, ‘Nabal’, ‘Degania 117’,’Mexicola’, and ‘Zutano’ seedlings. One year-old plants were placed in 55 L pots; river sand was used as substrate, and the plants were fertilized with a modified Hoagland solution. Vegetative growth and internal nutrient content were compared with control plants with 30 mg L-1 of Cl-, and plants treated with 200 mg L-1 Cl- for 130 days using NaCl in the nutrient solution (5.64 mM). No interaction between NaCl and the rootstocks for the vegetative growth variables was detected neither in K+ internal foliar or root content nor Ca+2 root. With regard to the carbon assimilation rate, the Nabal rootstock showed the highest rates under the NaCl treatment by retaining the highest chloride concentration in the roots and greatly limiting the concentration found in the leaves of the cv. Hass cultivar. It is therefore a promising rootstock for salt tolerance.

Keywords: Persea americana, chloride, sodium, NaCl, salinity stress, rootstocks
1 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Facultad de Agronomía, Casilla 4-D, Quillota, Chile. *Corresponding author (mcastro@ucv.cl).