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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 102 No. 4, p. 1252-1260
     
    Received: Jan 18, 2010


    * Corresponding author(s): yangyf@nenu.edu.cn
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doi:10.2134/agronj2010.0022

Effects of Saline and Alkaline Stress on Germination, Seedling Growth, and Ion Balance in Wheat

  1. Rui Guoa,
  2. LianXuan Shib,
  3. XueMei Dingd,
  4. Yongjun Hue,
  5. ShangYi Tiana,
  6. DeFu Yana,
  7. Shuai Shaob,
  8. Yuan Gaoc,
  9. Rong Liub and
  10. YunFei Yang *a
  1. a Key Laboratory for Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Inst. of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal Univ., ChangChun 130024 China
    b School of Life Science, Northeast Normal Univ., ChangChun 130024 China
    d College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Jilin Univ., Changchun, Jilin 130062, China, Changchun 130062 China
    e Biology Science, Changchun Normal Univ., Changchun, 130032, ChangChun 130032 China
    c Key Laboratory for Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Inst. of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal Univ., ChangChun 130024 China

Abstract

We tested wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings under five different saline and alkaline stress (9:1 molar ratio of NaCl/Na2SO4 and 9:1 molar ratio of NaHCO3/Na2CO3, respectively) regimes of differing severity for 7 d, comparing growth, germination, and ionic balance of wheat seedlings, to elucidate the mechanism of alkaline stress (high pH) damage to wheat, and it physiological adaptive mechanism to alkaline stress. We found that alkalinity had a more severe effect on wheat seedlings than salinity, preventing germination before and after recovery, and severely inhibiting shoot and root growth. Plants responded to both saline and alkaline stress by accumulating Na+ at the expense of K+, and by accumulating soluble osmolytes, but these effects were more pronounced under alkaline stress than saline stress. Alkaline stress also induced several specific responses such as the inhibition of fructan synthesis (fructan levels increased in response to salinity), the accumulation of organic acids, the accumulation of Ca2+ and the depletion of H2PO4 The results suggest that specific damage caused by alkaline stress might reflect a massive influx of Na+, resulting in a severe deficit of negative charge. The plants respond by trying to restore the osmotic balance and synthesizing organic acids as counter-ions to address the intracellular ion imbalance. These data provide important leads in the development of engineered wheat plants with improved stress tolerance.

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Copyright © 2010. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2010 by the American Society of Agronomy