The Effects of Salt Stress on Canola and Its Transgenic Line
Atif Ahad
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary
Floor Location : M 021 V

Soil salinity is a serious constrain in several countries. In the Canadian canola production area (most commonly the interior plains), large variability in soil properties is very common. Some of this variability may be ascribed to differences in salinity. In order to study the salinity stress effects resulted from sodium chloride on germination, and seedling growth and development, two types of Canola seeds were used; A transgenic line of salt sensitive Canola (PT), and most commonly found all over Canada, the wild type (WT). This experiment was carried out in my own greenhouse built in my house, using a LED growth light. The first factor of the experiment was canola cultivars- WT and PT, and the second factor was salinity stress levels: i.e. 0 (as a control), 50, 100, and 150 mM NaCl in a germination and germinating seedling experiment (pot experiment). The results showed that different salinity stress levels had significant effects on germination percentage, seedling growth rate, and seedlings height. Both lines are shown to be inhibiting the seed germination under 50 mM of salt stress which was expected. However, PT line has only 50% germination rate compared to WT at 85%. Early stage of seedlings development with lower salinity level didn't show any greater growth arrest, whereas higher concentration of salinity impacted the seedlings growth and development probably via salt induced ionic imbalance nutrient uptake. Increase of salinity level caused the PT seedlings to shrivel up and on the verge of dying. Response of canola cultivars was different at germination and seedling growth stages. The purpose of this experiment was to see how sensitive the PT line (a stress related gene knockout line) under salt stress to compared with WT during germination and seedling growth & development. Significant differences between these cultivars were observed under high salt stress conditions. I can conclude from my findings that the PT line of Canola is the most salt sensitive as the salt content had slowed down its germination rate as well as its seedling growth and development which proved my hypothesis correct.