Chenopodium quinoa as a New Non-Traditional Crop in Egypt
Sayed Eisa1, Ahmed Abdel-Ati2, Mohamed Ebrahim1, Mohamed Eid3, Emad El-Din Abd El-Samad4, Sayed Hussin1, Nasr El-Bordeny5, Safwat Ali6, Abd-El-Rahman El-Naggar1
1Ain Shams University (ASU), Dept. of Agricultural Botany, Egypt
Dry land salinity increasingly affected large tracts of agriculture land in Egypt. Efforts are hence needed to find alternate solution to allow farmers to make productive use of saline land. One option is the use of high potentiality halophytes for crop production. Chenopodium quinoa Willd is one of the promising cash crop halophyte for cultivation in saline soils. The aim of this study was to compare the potential seed yield and quality of quinoa grown under high saline soil conditions (ECe=27 ds.m-1) with neutral-soil conditions (ECe=1.9 ds.m-1). Seed yield and weight of 1000 seeds significantly decreased under saline-soil to record 40% and 20% reduction compared with neutral-soil conditions, respectively. Beside quantity, the composition of reserves was also changed at salinity conditions. The concentration of the total carbohydrates decreased significantly whereas, concentration of protein, Fe, Na and ash increased significantly in seeds. No significant differences were found for oil, fiber, P and K contents under saline conditions. However, the higher accumulation of ash in seeds under saline condition was not obtained solely by an increase of Na concentration; it was achieved also by increasing K and Fe concentrations. The Energy Dispersive X-ray microanalysis clearly indicated that the passage of Na to seed interior was hindered by seed pericarp leading to low accumulation of Na in seed interior reserving tissue. The redistribution of some essential elements inside seed tissues was studied. Quinoa as a new cultivated cash crop halophyte has a highly unbelievable significant potential as grain crop due to its high nutritional quality of seeds.
Keywords: Chenopodium quinoa, halophyte cash crop, nutritional value, saline soil, yield
Contact Address: Sayed Eisa, Ain Shams University (ASU), Dept. of Agricultural Botany, 68 Hadyke Shubra, 12244 Cairo, Egypt, e-mail: sayed_eisahotmail.com