Do Commercially Available Inoculants Work on New Saline Tolerant Alfalfa Varieties?

Project Title

Will Recurrent Selection for Improved Salt Tolerance Interact with Soil Microbe to Enhance Alfalfa Performance, Root Development and Nodule Formation Under Salt Stress?

Researchers

Bill Biligetu (University of Saskatchewan) Bill.Biligetu@usask.ca

Dr. Karen Tanino (University of Saskatchewan) Dr. Jonathan Bennett (University of Saskatchewan)

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in March, 2022 POC.08.20

Background

Researchers have made great strides in developing alfalfa varieties that are saline tolerant. These varieties include Halo, and Halo-II as well as other varieties currently under development.  Since saline tolerant varieties are genetically different than other more traditional varieties, they may respond differently to currently available inoculants.

Objectives

  • To investigate the effect of continuous selection of alfalfa for improved salt tolerance on root nodule formation, and alfalfa agronomic performance under salt stress.
  • To quantify effect of salt tolerant rhizobium on alfalfa growth under salt stress as compared to a generic strain.

What they will do

Researchers want to test to see if new varieties of salinity tolerant alfalfa respond more favorably to salt tolerant inoculants than previously available alfalfa varieties. In this greenhouse trial they will compare 4 different alfalfa varieties (3 newly developed salt tolerant varieties and Halo-II) at 3 different salinity levels. Within those they will test non-inoculated alfalfa, inoculation with a generic strain, inoculation with salt tolerant bacteria H. Maura or co-inoculation with a generic strain as well as H. Maura.

Implications

This project will help determine if current inoculants work with saline tolerant alfalfa varieties or if new alfalfa inoculants are needed for these varieties.