Quinoa: a new crop for plant diversification under water and salinity stress conditions in Iran

R. Talebnejad, A.R. Sepaskhah
Water scarcity and water salinity are major constraints for agricultural production in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran. Salt tolerant and high nutritious Andean crop, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), is gaining interest as a food security crop outside the center of its origin in various countries around the globe. Recently, it has been introduced into the Mediterranean region and it is a good candidate crop for agricultural diversification. However, little documented investigations are presented about the possibility of quinoa to complete its developmental growth in non-native weather conditions. Therefore, three-year experiments were conducted in a greenhouse at the College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, in Fars province of Iran, to distinguish phenological stages, salinity and water stress reactions of quinoa, Danish-bred cultivar ('Titicaca, no. 5206'), in presence of saline shallow ground water. Results indicated that quinoa has potential to be adapted in Iran as a new crop, complete its developmental stage and produce seed yield (2.21 Mg ha-1 at 0.8 m saline groundwater depth with 20 dS m-1 water salinity at full irrigation management). Furthermore, 70% reduction in irrigation water resulted in 40% reduction in seed yield as compared with full irrigation management at 0.80 m groundwater depth; whereas seed yield water productivity was 1.16 kg m-3. Comparison between quinoa and cereal crops which are sensitive to salinity and water stress, such as rice, emphasized the importance of plant diversity on food security especially under water scarcity and salinity.
Talebnejad, R. and Sepaskhah, A.R. (2018). Quinoa: a new crop for plant diversification under water and salinity stress conditions in Iran. Acta Hortic. 1190, 101-106
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1190.17
quinoa, plant diversification, salinity, water stress

Acta Horticulturae