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Comparison of the response of ion distribution in the tissues and cells of the succulent plants Aloe vera and Salicornia europaea to saline stress

Zheng, Qingsong, Liu, Ling, Liu, Zhaopu, Chen, Jianmiao, Zhao, Gengmao
Zeitschrift für Pflanzenernährung und Bodenkunde 2009 v.172 no.6 pp. 875-883
Aloe vera, Salicornia europaea, homeostasis, ions, leaves, roots, salinity, salt stress, seedlings, shoots, sodium chloride, soil salinity, tissue distribution, vacuoles
There exists a great variability among plant species regarding their sensitivity and resistance to high salinity in soil, and most often this variability is related with the ability of a particular plant species to regulate ion homeostasis and transport. In this study, we have investigated the effects of NaCl on growth rate, water status, and ion distribution in different cells and tissues of two succulent plants, Aloe vera and Salicornia europaea. Our results showed that the growth of A. vera seedlings was significantly decreased in response to salinity. However, the growth of S. europaea seedlings was greatly stimulated by high concentrations of NaCl. Under saline conditions, S. europaea seedlings maintained K⁺ and Ca²⁺ uptake in roots and showed a higher root-to-shoot flux of Na⁺ and Cl⁻ as compared to A. vera. Despite great accumulation of Na⁺ and Cl⁻ in photosynthetically active shoot cells in S. europaea, its growth was enhanced, indicating S. europaea is capable of compartmentalizing salt ions in the vacuoles of shoot cells. Aloe vera seedlings, however, showed a low transport rate of Na⁺ and Cl⁻ to leaves and suppressed uptake of K⁺ and Ca²⁺ in roots during NaCl treatment. Our results also implicate that A. vera may be able to accumulate Na⁺ and Cl⁻ in the metabolically inactive aqueous cells in leaves and, as a result, the plant can survive and can maintain growth under saline conditions.