THE SCREENING OF PLANTS FOR SALINITY TOLERANCE
Plant species vary in how well they tolerate salt-affected soils. Some plants will tolerate high levels of salinity while others can tolerate moderate, little or no salinity. The relative growth of plants in the presence of salinity is termed as their salt tolerance. Plants appear less salt tolerant when grown in a hot, dry climate than a cool, humid climate. Salinity levels are affected by the soil, the plants, the landscape, the climate and the management of the soil surface. A high salt level interferes with the germination of new seeds. Because of the salt levels in the soil, water and nutrients cannot move into the plant roots. In some cases, the salinity also has a toxic effect on plants because of the high concentration of certain salts in the soil. Salinity prevents the plants from taking up the proper balance of nutrients they require for healthy growth. As the demand for food is more due to increasing population, there is a need to generate salinity tolerant crops and finding new environmentally friendly crop protection strategies is essential. In this section, different plant species are screened for salinity tolerance and the effect of salt stress on their germination is studied which will further help to develop salt-tolerant crops for sustaining food production in order to meet the needs of humanity.