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

Just Accepted

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Variation in shoot tolerance mechanisms not related to ion toxicity in barley

Joanne Tilbrook , Rhiannon Schilling , Bettina Berger , Alexandre Garcia , Christine Trittermann , Stewart Coventry , Huwaida Rabie , Chris Brien , Martin Nguyen , Mark Tester , Stuart Roy


Soil salinity can severely reduce crop growth and yield. Many studies have investigated salinity tolerance mechanisms in cereals using phenotypes that are relatively easy to measure. The majority of these studies measured the accumulation of shoot Na+ and the effect this has on plant growth. However, plant growth is reduced immediately after exposure to NaCl, before Na+ accumulates to toxic concentrations in the shoot. In this study, non-destructive and destructive measurements are used to evaluate the responses of 24 predominately Australian barley lines at 0, 150 and 250 mM NaCl. Considerable variation for shoot tolerance mechanisms not related to ion toxicity (shoot ion independent tolerance) was found, with some lines being able to maintain substantial growth rates under salt stress while others stop growing. Hordeum vulgare L. spp spontaneum accessions and barley landraces predominantly had the best shoot ion independent tolerance, although two commercial cultivars, Fathom and Skiff, also had high tolerance. The tolerance of cv Fathom may be due to a recent introgression from a Hordeum vulgare L. spp spontaneum. This study shows that the most salt tolerant barley lines are those that contain both shoot ion independent tolerance and the ability to exclude Na+ from the shoot (and thus maintain high K+/Na+ ratios).

FP17049  Accepted 26 July 2017

© CSIRO 2017