Establishment of screening method for salt-tolerant soybean at emergence stage and screening of tolerant germplasm

LIU Xie-Xiang1 CHANG Ru-Zhen1 GUAN Rong-Xia1 QIU Li-Juan1

(1.Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement (NFCRI)/Key Laboratory of Germplasm Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing, China 100081)
【Knowledge Link】linkage group

【Abstract】Salinity is an important factor affecting crop production. Screening salt-tolerant soybean germplasm is of great significance for the utilization of salinized soil in major soybean production regions. In order to select salt-tolerant soybean, a screening method was developed with six soybean accessions, including Zhonghuang 35, Zhonghuang 39, Williams 82, Tiefeng 8, Peking, and NY27–38. Seeds were sown in vermiculite and treated with 0, 100, and 150 mmol L−1 NaCl solution. Seedling rate (SR), plant height (H), fresh weight of shoot and root (FWS and FWR), dry weight of shoot and root (DWS and DWR) were decreased significantly under 150 mmol L−1 NaCl treatment, with significant difference among varieties. Therefore, 150 mmol L−1 NaCl was suitable to identify salt-tolerant soybean at emergence stage. The salt tolerance index (SI) based on the growth and development of seedlings and the salt tolerance coefficient (ST) were significantly correlated with the salt tolerance. The method using salt tolerance index is non-destructive and does not require planting control, which could save time and labor in salt-tolerant germplasm identification. Twenty-seven soybean resources were screened, in which three were highly tolerant (grade 1) and seven tolerant (grade 2) at emergence stage. Among them, Yundou 101, Zheng 1311, Wansu 1015, and Tiefeng 8 also showed salt tolerance (grade 1) at seedling stage. In summary, an effective method for screening salt-tolerant soybean at emergence stage was developed, with vermiculite as the substrate, 150 mmol L−1 NaCl as suitable treatment solution, and salt tolerance index as the indicator. Four soybean accessions were found to be salt tolerant at both emergence and seedling stages. This screening method will be useful for identification of salt-tolerant soybean germplasm.

【Keywords】 soybean; emergence stage; salt tolerance; screening method;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (31830066)

Download this article

(Translated by XU MY)


    [1] Hamwieh A, Xu D. Conserved salt tolerance quantitative trait loci (QTL) in wild and cultivated soybean. Breed Sci, 2008, 58: 355–359.

    [2] Hamwieh A, Tuyen D D, Cong H, Benitez E R, Takahashi R, Xu D H. Identification and validation of a major QTL for salt tolerance in soybean. Euphytica, 2011, 179: 451–459.

    [3] Wang Z, Wang J, Bao Y, Wu Y, Zhang H. Quantitative trait loci controlling rice seed germination under salt stress. Euphytica, 2011, 178: 297–307.

    [4] Wang J L, Huang X J, Zhong T Y, Chen Z G. Review on sustainable utilization of salt-affected land. Acta Geogr Sin, 2011, 66: 673–684 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [5] Abel G H, Mackenzie A J. Salt tolerance of soybean varieties (Glycine max L. Merrill) during germination and later growth. Crop Sci, 1964, 4: 14–28.

    [6] Wang D, Shannon M C. Emergence and seedling growth of soybean cultivars and maturity groups under salinity. Plant Soil, 1999, 214: 117–124.

    [7] Singleton P W, Bohlool B B. Effect of salinity on nodule formation by soybean. Plant Physiol, 1984, 74: 72–76.

    [8] Chen H, Cui S, Fu S, Gai J, Yu D. Identification of quantitative trait loci associated with salt tolerance during seedling growth in soybean (Glycine max L.). Aust J Agric Res, 2008, 59: 1086–1091.

    [9] Phang T H, Lam H M. Salt tolerance in soybean. J Integr Plant Biol, 2008, 50: 1196–1212.

    [10] Pathan M S, Lee J D, Shannon J G, Nguyen H T. Recent advances in breeding for drought and salt stress tolerance in soybean. In: Jenks M A, Hasegawa P M, Jain S M, eds. Advances in Molecular-breeding Toward Drought and Salt Tolerant Crops. USA: Springer, 2007. pp 739–773.

    [11] Shao G H, Song J Z, Liu H L. Preliminary studies on the evaluation of salt tolerance in soybean varieties. Sci Agric Sin, 1986, 19(6): 30–35 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [12] Guo B, Qiu L J, Shao G H, Xu Z Y. Markers-assisted identification of the salt tolerant accessions in soybean. Soybean Sci, 2002, 21: 56–61 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [13] Ha B K, Vuong T D, Velusamy V, Nguyen H T, Shannon J G, Lee J D. Genetic mapping of quantitative trait loci conditioning salt tolerance in wild soybean (Glycine soja) PI 483463. Euphytica, 2013, 193: 79–88.

    [14] Tuyen D D, Lal S K, Xu D H. Identification of a major QTL allele from wild soybean (Glycine soja Sieb. & Zucc.) for increasing alkaline salt tolerance in soybean. Theor Appl Genet, 2010, 121: 229–236.

    [15] Essa T A. Effect of salinity stress on growth and nutrient composition of three soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) cultivars. J Agron Crop Sci, 2002, 188: 86–93.

    [16] Tuyen D D, Zhang H M, Xu D H. Validation and high-resolution mapping of a major quantitative trait locus for alkaline salt tolerance in soybean using residual heterozygous line. Mol Breed, 2013, 31: 79–86.

    [17] Guan R X, Qu Y, Guo Y, Yu L L, Liu Y, Jiang J H, Chen J G, Ren Y L, Liu G Y, Tian L, Jin L G, Liu Z X, Hong H L, Chang R Z, Gilliham M, Qiu L J. Salinity tolerance in soybean is modulated by natural variation in GmSALT3. Plant J, 2015, 80: 937–950.

    [18] Qi X, Li M W, Xie M, Liu X, Ni M, Shao G, Song C, Yim K Y, Tao Y, Wong F L, Isobe S, Wong C F, Wong K S, Xu C, Li C, Wang Y, Guan R, Sun F, Fan G, Xiao Z, Zhou F, Phang T H, Liu X, Tong S W, Chan T F, Yiu S M, Tabata S, Wang J, Xu X, Lam H M. Identification of a novel salt tolerance gene in wild soybean by whole-genome sequencing. Nat Commun, 2014, 5: 4340.

    [19] Do T D, Vuong T D, Dunn D, Smothers S, Patil G, Yungbluth DC, Chen P, Scaboo A, Xu D, Carter T E. Mapping and confirmation of loci for salt tolerance in a novel soybean germplasm, Fiskeby III. Theor Appl Genet, 2018, 131: 513–524.

    [20] Liu Y, Yu L L, Qu Y, Chen J J, Liu X X, Hong H L, Liu Z X, Chang R Z, Gilliham M, Qiu L J, Guan R X. GmSALT3, which confers improved soybean salt tolerance in the field, increases leaf Cl exclusion prior to Na+ exclusion but does not improve early vigor under salinity. Front Plant Sci, 2016, 7: 1485.

    [21] Munns R, James R A. Screening methods for salinity tolerance: a case study with tetraploid wheat. Plant Soil, 2003, 253: 201–218.

    [22] Khatun S, Flowers T J. Effects of salinity on seed set in rice. Plant Cell Environ, 1995, 18: 61–67.

    [23] Hosseini M, Powell A, Bingham I. Comparison of the seed germination and early seedling growth of soybean in saline conditions. Seed Sci Res, 2002, 12: 165–172.

    [24] Shao G H. Field identification method for salt tolerance of soybean germplasm resources. Crops, 1986, (3): 36–37 (in Chinese).

    [25] Luo Q Y. Study on Mechanism and Inheritance of Salt Tolerance in Wild Soybean (Glycine soja) and Cultivated Soybean (G.max). PhD Dissertation of Nanjing Agriculture University, Nanjing, China, 2003 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [26] Zhang H B, Cui J Z, Cao T T, Zhang J T, Liu Q Q, Liu H. Response to salt stresses and assessment of salt tolerability of soybean varieties in emergence and seedling stages. Acta Ecol Sin, 2011, 31: 2805–2812 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [27] Zhang W J, Niu Y, Bu S H, Li M, Feng J Y, Zhang J, Yang S X, Odinga M M, Wei S P, Liu X F, Zhang Y M. Epistatic association mapping for alkaline and salinity tolerance traits in the soybean germination stage. PLoS One, 2014, 9: e84750.

    [28] Kan G, Zhang W, Yang W, Ma D, Zhang D, Hao D, Hu Z, Yu D. Association mapping of soybean seed germination under salt stress. Mol Genet Genomics, 2015, 290: 2147–2162.

    [29] Ji D D, Liu C, Cao Q C, Xiang F N. Comparison of the salt tolerance at sprout and seedling in different soybean. J Shandong Polytechnic Univ (Nat Sci Edn), 2011, 25(2): 4–7 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [30] Guo B, Shao G H. Tagging salt tolerant gene using PCR marker in soybean. Sci Agric Sin, 2000, 33(1): 10–16 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [31] Flowers T J. Improving crop salt tolerance. J Exp Bot, 2004, 55: 307–319.

    [32] Foolad M R, Lin G Y. Absence of genetic relationship between salt tolerance during seed germination and vegetative growth in tomato. Plant Breed, 1997, 116: 363–367.

    [33] Do T D, Chen H, Hien V T T, Hamwieh A, Yamada T, Sato T, Yan Y, Cong H, Shono M, Suenaga K. Ncl synchronously regulates Na+, K+, and Cl in soybean and greatly increases the grain yield in saline field conditions. Sci Rep, 2016, 6: 19147.

This Article



Vol 46, No. 01, Pages 1-8

January 2020


Article Outline



  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results and analysis
  • 3 Discussion
  • 4 Conclusions
  • References