Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Effect of salinity on water relations and growth of wheat genotypes with contrasting sodium uptake

Anna Rita Rivelli, Richard A. James, Rana Munns and A. G. (Tony) Condon

Functional Plant Biology 29(9) 1065 - 1074
Published: 22 August 2002


Four wheat genotypes with contrasting degrees of Na+ exclusion were selected to see if low Na+ uptake had an adverse effect on water relations or growth rates during exposure to saline conditions. Plants were grown in supported hydroponics with and without 150 mM NaCl, and sampled for measurements of water relations, biomass, stomatal conductance, and ion accumulation. After 4 weeks exposure to salt, biomass was reduced in all genotypes to a similar extent (about 50%), with the effect of salinity on relative growth rate confined largely to the first week. There was little difference between genotypes in the effect of salinity on water relations, as indicated by their relative water content and estimated turgor. Osmotic adjustment occurred in all genotypes, with one of the low-Na+ genotypes having the greatest adjustment. In the low-Na+ genotypes, osmotic adjustment depended on higher K+ and high organic solute accumulation. Stomatal conductance of all genotypes was reduced by saline conditions, but the reduction was greater in the low-Na+ genotypes. These genotypes also showed a larger fall in the value of carbon isotope discrimination measured in expanding leaves, indicating a greater transpiration efficiency when exposed to saline conditions. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements failed to indicate damage to photochemical pathways in either high- or low-Na+ genotypes. These data indicate that selecting lines with low Na+ accumulation for the purpose of improving salt tolerance is unlikely to introduce limitations for osmotic adjustment.

© CSIRO 2002

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