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Effects of external NaCI on the growth of Atriplex amnicola and the ion relations and carbohydrate status of the leaves

Aslam, Z., Jeschke, W.D., Barrett-Lennard, E.G., Setter, T.L., Watkin, E. and Greenway, H. (1986) Effects of external NaCI on the growth of Atriplex amnicola and the ion relations and carbohydrate status of the leaves. Plant, Cell and Environment, 9 (7). pp. 571-580.

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Atriplex amnicola, was grown in nutrient solution cultures with concentrations of NaCl up to 750 mol m−3. The growth optimum was at 25–50 mol m−3 NaCl and growth was 10–15% of that value at 750 mol m−3 NaCl. Sodium chloride at 200 mol m−3 and higher reduced the rate of leaf extension and increased the time taken for a leaf to reach its maximal length.

Concentrations of Na+, K+ and Mg2+ in leaves of different ages were investigated for plants grown at 25, 200 and 400 mol m−3 NaCl. Although leaves of plants grown at 200 and 400 mol m−3 NaCl had high Na+ concentrations at young developmental stages, much of this Na+ was located in the salt bladders. Leaves excluding bladders had low Na+concentrations when young, but very high in Na+ when old.

In contrast to Na+, K+ concentrations were similar in bladders and leaves excluding bladders. Concentrations of K+ were higher in the rapidly expanding than in the old leaves. At 400 mol m−3 NaCl, the K+:Na+ ratios of the leaves excluding bladders were 0.4–0.6 and 0.1 for rapidly expanding and oldest leaves, respectively. The Na+ content in moles per leaf, excluding bladders, increased linearly with the age of the leaves; concurrent increases in succulence were closely correlated with the Na + concentration in the leaves excluding the bladders.

Soluble sugars and starch in leaves, stems and buds were determined at dusk and dawn.

There was a pronounced diurnal fluctation in concentrations of carbohydrates. During the night, most plant parts showed large decreases in starch and sugar. Concentrations of carbohydrates in most plant organs were similar for plants grown at 25 and 400 mol m−3 NaCl. One notable exception was buds at dusk, where sugar and starch concentrations were 30–35% less in plants grown at 400 mol m−3 NaCl than in plants grown at 25 mol m−3 NaCl.

The data indicate that the growth of A. amnicola at 400 mol m−3 NaCl is not limited by the availability of photosynthate in the plant as a whole. However, there could have been a growth limitation due to inadequate organic solutes for osmotic regulation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
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