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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 40(9)

Balancing salinity stress responses in halophytes and non-halophytes: a comparison between Thellungiella and Arabidopsis thaliana

Dorothea Bartels A B and Challabathula Dinakar A

A Institute of Molecular Physiology and Biotechnology of Plants, University of Bonn, Kirschallee 1, D-53115 Bonn, Germany.
B Corresponding author. Email: dbartels@uni-bonn.de
This paper originates from a presentation at the COST WG2 MeetingPutting halophytes to workgenetics, biochemistry and physiologyHannover, Germany, 2831 August 2012.

Functional Plant Biology 40(9) 819-831 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP12299
Submitted: 9 October 2012  Accepted: 27 February 2013   Published: 2 April 2013


 
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Abstract

Salinity is one of the major abiotic stress factors that drastically reduces agricultural productivity. In natural environments salinity often occurs together with other stresses such as dehydration, light stress or high temperature. Plants cope with ionic stress, dehydration and osmotic stress caused by high salinity through a variety of mechanisms at different levels involving physiological, biochemical and molecular processes. Halophytic plants exist successfully in stressful saline environments, but most of the terrestrial plants including all crop plants are glycophytes with varying levels of salt tolerance. An array of physiological, structural and biochemical adaptations in halophytes make them suitable models to study the molecular mechanisms associated with salinity tolerance. Comparative analysis of plants that differ in their abilities to tolerate salinity will aid in better understanding the phenomenon of salinity tolerance. The halophyte Thellungiella salsuginea has been used as a model for studying plant salt tolerance. In this review, T. salsuginea and the glycophyte Arabidopsis thaliana are compared with regards to their biochemical, physiological and molecular responses to salinity. In addition recent developments are presented for improvement of salinity tolerance in glycophytic plants using genes from halophytes.

Additional keywords: dehydration, glycophytes, halophytes, salinity, Thellungiella.


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