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Potassium and sodium relations in salinised barley tissues as a basis of differential salt tolerance


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Chen, Z, Zhou, M, Newman, IA, Mendham, NJ, Zhang, GP and Shabala, SN 2007 , 'Potassium and sodium relations in salinised barley tissues as a basis of differential salt tolerance' , Functional Plant Biology, vol. 34, No. 2 , pp. 150-162 , doi: 10.1071/FP06237.

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A large-scale glasshouse trial, including nearly 70 barley cultivars (5300 plants in total), was conducted over
2 consecutive years to investigate plant physiological responses to salinity. In a parallel set of experiments, plant salt
tolerance was assessed by non-invasive microelectrode measurements of net K+ flux from roots of 3-day-old seedlings
of each cultivar after 1 h treatment in 80mM NaCl as described in our previous publication (Chen et al. 2005). K+ flux
from the root in response to NaCl treatment was highly (P<0.001) inversely correlated with relative grain yield, shoot
biomass, plant height, net CO2 assimilation, survival rate and thousand-seed weight measured in glasshouse experiments
after 4–5 months of salinity treatment. No significant correlation with relative germination rate or tillering was found. In
general, 62 out of 69 cultivars followed an inverse relationship between K+ efflux and salt tolerance. In a few cultivars,
however, high salt tolerance (measured as grain yield at harvest) was observed for plants showing only modest ability to
retain K+ in the root cells. Tissue elemental analysis showed that these plants had a much better ability to prevent Na+
accumulation in plant leaves and, thus, to maintain a higher K+/Na+ ratio. Taken together, our results show that a plant’s
ability to maintain high K+/Na+ ratio (either retention of K+ or preventing Na+ from accumulating in leaves) is a key
feature for salt tolerance in barley.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Chen, Z and Zhou, M and Newman, IA and Mendham, NJ and Zhang, GP and Shabala, SN
Keywords: Hordeum vulgare, ion flux, leaf elemental content, potassium, salinity, screening, sodium.
Journal or Publication Title: Functional Plant Biology
Publisher: CSIRO Australia
ISSN: 1445-4408
DOI / ID Number: 10.1071/FP06237
Additional Information:

© CSIRO 2007

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