Use of the nutrient film technique as a method for assessment of plant response to salt stress in the cereals

P. K. Martin, J. Humble, R. M. D. Koebner


The nutrient film technique (NFT)/rockwool system was adapted for use as a method for assessing the response of wheat and barley to saline stress. Wheat plants grown by the NFT/rockwool system in 200 mmol NaCl were vegetatively more vigorous and were more fertile than when suspended over bowls containing the same saline nutrient solution. Signifcant intervarietal differential responses were observed in both wheat and barley for vegetative vigour under saline stress. By increasing the concentration of NaCI to 260 mM and growing seedlings in miniaturized rockwool plugs, a screening system for salt tolerance in wheat, which allowed substantial plant numbers to be tested, was made possible. Seedlings which survived 4 weeks of this treatment could be successfully rescued into soil, where they developed normally.


salt stress; hydroponics; nutrient film technique; cereals

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