Rapid Screening for Relative Salt Tolerance among Chile Pepper Genotypes Academic Article uri icon


  • Chile peppers are economically important crops in southern regions of the United States. Limited information is available on irrigation management with low-quality water or on salt-affected soils. The objective of this study was to determine the relative salt tolerance of 20 genotypes of chile peppers. In Expt. 1, seeds of selected pepper types (Anaheim, Ancho, Cayenne, Paprika, Jalapeo, Habanero, and Serrano) were germinated in potting mix and seedlings were grown in 2.6-L pots. Six weeks after sowing, salinity treatments were initiated by irrigating plants with nutrient solutions of different electrical conductivities (ECs): 1.4 (control), 3.0, or 6.0 dSm1. After 1 month of initiating treatments, shoots were harvested and dry weights were determined. All plants survived and no visual salt injury was observed regardless of pepper variety and treatment. There were no statistical differences between control and saline solution treatments in final height and shoot dry weight of Habanero 1, Early Jalapeo, AZ-20, NuMex Joe E. Parker, and NuMex Sandia. In Expt. 2, seeds of 20 genotypes were directly sown in 2.6-L containers filled with loamy sand. Saline water irrigation was initiated 37 days after sowing by irrigating plants either with saline (nutrient solution based, similar to Expt. 1) or nutrient solution (control). More than half the genotypes did not have 100% survival in the salinity treatment. Ancho 1, Ancho 2, Cayenne 1, Early Jalapeo, and AZ-20 had 100% survival regardless of salinity treatment. No plants of TAM Mild Habanero survived when irrigated with saline water and less than half of the plants survived in the control. The relative tolerance of chile genotypes to salinity varied with substrate in some genotypes. From the combined results of the two experiments, the 20 pepper genotypes were ranked for salt tolerance based on seedling survival, visual quality, and growth. Early Jalapeo and AZ-20 were relatively tolerant to salinity among the 20 genotypes, whereas TAM Mild Habanero and Ben Villalon were sensitive. Ancho 1, Ancho 2, Cayenne 1, and Cayenne 2 also had relatively high tolerance based on survival and visual quality, although shoot growth was reduced significantly.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., Crosby, K., Leskovar, D., & Jifon, J.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Niu, Genhua||Rodriguez, Denise S||Crosby, Kevin||Leskovar, Daniel||Jifon, John

publication date

  • August 2010