Growth of three cultivars of Jew’s mellow (Corchorus olitorious) under different dilutions of Red Sea water

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Mukhtar Mohammed, Mohammed
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An experiment was conducted at the Faculty of Agriculture University of Al Zaeem Al Azhri, to evaluate growth of three cultivars of Jew’s mellow (Corchorus olitorious) irrigated with mixtures of Red Sea water and fresh water. The cultivars were Janubeea, Egyptian Baladi and Saaeedi, grown in loamy sand culture in plastic pots. The plants were irrigated with mixture of water of EC 3.4, 4.6 and 5.5 ds/m and fresh water. Data were collected on plant height, number of branches per plant, number of leaves per plant, number of fruits per plant and fresh and dry weight of shoots and roots. Generally, increasing the level of salinity of irrigation water significantly decreased the rate of growth. Saline water with EC 4.6 dS/m and 5.5 dS/m resulted in the death of plants. In the remaining treatments, plant height ranged between 13.36 cm and 2.94 cm, number of branches per plant ranged between 4.06 and 0.00, number of leaves per plant ranged between 7.49 and 2.37, number of fruits per plant ranged between 2.67 and 0.00, shoot fresh weight ranged between 4.05 g and 0.42g, shoot dry weight ranged between 0.83 g and 0.04 g, roots fresh weight ranged between 1.63 g and 0.08 g and roots dry weight ranged between 0.24 g and 0.01g for fresh water 0.4 dS/m and 3.45 dS/m treatments respectively. No significant genotypic differences in all characteristics of growth were found among the cultivars under different saline water treatments. However, cultivar Janobeea appeared to be more salt tolerant than other cultivars. It was generally observed that Baladi cultivar was slow grower even under fresh water. The death of plant under the 4.6 dS/m treatment may indicate that Corchorus has low tolerance to salinity. Corchorus can only tolerate mixed water with no more than 5% Sea water which may not be very encouraging for growing it under conditions where Sea water is to be used for vegetable production. Nitrogen application led to significant improvement in plant tolerance to salinity.