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Mineral content in seed of soybeans grown under saline conditions

H.G. Beecher1, G.D. Batten1 and P. Slavich2

NSW Agriculture & Fisheries 1Yanco Agricultural Institute, Yanco, N.S.W., 2703 and 2Research and Advisory Unit, Deniliquin, N.S.W., 2710

Soybean genotypes vary in salinity tolerance (1,2). Nutrient solution studies indicate that tolerant lines may exclude CI and Na ions from_ leaves (1), while sensitive lines may be injured by accumulation of CI or inorganic P (2). The main variety grown in southern Australia, cv Chaffey, is sensitive to soil and water salinity (3,4). This paper reports on salinity-induced changes in mineral status of seed of Chaffey.


Experiment 1: Seed was collected from plants growing in areas of differing salinity (assessed using the EM38 electrical conductivity meter) in a soybean crop at Deniliquin in 1984/85.

Experiment 2: Soybeans were grown at Whitton in 1984/85 and 1985/86 using five irrigation water qualities (0.25...2.0 dS/cm (4)). In 1985/86 each plot was split for three rates of phosphorus (0, 35, 70 kg P/ha) applied at sowing. Seed samples were collected each year. All samples were analysed for nutrients using ICP.

Results and discussion

Seed mineral concentrations were significantly affected by soil and applied water salinity. In each experiment salinity increased Ca and decreased Mg. In Experiment 1 (Table 1) and Experiment 2 1984/85 (Table 2), salinity increased Mn concentration while, In Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 1985/86, concentrations of P and K increased and that of Zn declined. Increasing the rate of superphosphate at sowing led to increased P, S, Mg, Mn and Zn, but lower Ca.

Table 1: Soil Salinity (EMH) and mineral concentration in soybean seed

Table 2: The effect of saline irrigation water on seed minerals

1. Gratton, S.R. and Maas, E.V. (1984). Agron. J. 76, 668-676.

2. Abel, G.H. and MacKenzie, A.J. (1964). Crop Sci. 4, 157-161.

3. Slavich, P., pers. comm.

4. Beecher, H.G. (1989). Proceedings this conference.

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