Main content area

Salt tolerance and mineral relations for celery

Pardossi, A., Malorgio, F., Tognoni, F.
Journal of plant nutrition 1999 v.22 no.1 pp. 151-161
Apium graveolens, salt tolerance, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium, chlorides, nitrogen content, nutrient content, hydroponics, nutrient solutions, salinity, roots, leaves, petioles, shoots, application rate, root shoot ratio
To investigate the relationship between salt tolerance and plant mineral status in celery (Apium graveolens L.) growth and the concentration of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), and chloride (Cl) in different tissues were determined in plants grown in hydroculture with nutrient solutions containing 5 (control), 50, 100, and 300 mM sodium chloride (NaCl) for four weeks. At salinity levels of 50 and 100 mM NaCl, there was a moderate, albeit significantly, reduction of growth, while a drastic decrease in both fresh and dry weight was obtained at 300 mM NaCl. Regardless of the salinity level, growth resumed promptly and completely once the stress was ceased. Sodium chloride stress reduced the accumulation of nitrate (NO3)-N in all plant tissues, but there were no relevant effects on the concentration of reduced N and P. The concentration of K in roots and leaf petioles was unaffected by NaCl treatment, but it gradually declined with increasing salinity in leaf blades. This reduction was less pronounced in the young leaves as compared to the mature ones. Increasing the NaCl concentration decreased the concentration of Ca in all tissues, but it prevented the occurrence of black-heart, a typical Ca-related physiological disorder which affected severely the controls. Salt-stressed plants absorbed large amounts of Na and Cl which accumulated in the mature leaves particularly in the oldest leaves. These findings suggest that the relatively high salt tolerance of celery relies on the ability to maintain an adequate nutritional status and to protect the shoot meristem from salt toxicity.