Production and Salinity Tolerance of Fodder Beet (Beta vulgaris L. ssp. Maritima)
Sami Ullah Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Gurmani, Waseem Ahmed, Shahzad Ahmed and Alvina Gul, Submitted: December 16th, 2019 Reviewed: April 1st, 2020 Published: June 29th, 2020, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.92345
Fodder beet (Beta vulgaris L. ssp. maritima) belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. It was introduced first in the Europe and then to USA in 1800 and is currently being grown under cool environmental conditions of the world. It can be cultivated at temperature ranging from 8°C to 25°C. Both shoots and roots of fodder beet can be used as a feed for livestock. In the face of changing climate, there is a dire need to find out climate-resilient crops in new niches that can fulfill the growing needs of farming communities. In this context, fodder beet could be a good option for growers having sizable marginal as well as salt-affected soils. The chapter discusses in detail the efficient salinity-tolerance mechanism of fodder beet that enables it to survive under moderate salinity. Selective ion uptake mechanism, efficient antioxidant defensive mechanism and osmoregulation by accumulation of compatible solutes enable it to thrive well under saline environment. Hence, fodder beet is a relatively salt-tolerant crop that can be successfully grown on normal, marginal as well as salt-affected soils to fulfill the fodder requirements of livestock in fodder-scarce times and salinity amelioration.