Salt tolerance mechanisms in mangroves: a review
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- Parida, A.K. & Jha, B. Trees (2010) 24: 199. doi:10.1007/s00468-010-0417-x
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Mangroves are woody plants which form the dominant vegetation in tidal, saline wetlands along tropical and subtropical coasts. The current knowledge concerning the most striking feature of mangroves i.e., their unique ability to tolerate high salinity is summarized in the present review. In this review, we shall discuss recent studies that have focused on morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic attributes associated with the response to salinity, some of which presumably function to mediate salt tolerance in the mangroves. Here we shall also review the major advances recently made at both the genetic and the genomic levels in mangroves. Salinity tolerance in mangroves depends on a range of adaptations, including ion compartmentation, osmoregulation, selective transport and uptake of ions, maintenance of a balance between the supply of ions to the shoot, and capacity to accommodate the salt influx. The tolerance of mangroves to a high saline environment is also tightly linked to the regulation of gene expression. By integrating the information from mangroves and performing comparisons among species of mangroves and non-mangroves, we could give a general picture of salt tolerance mechanisms of mangroves, thus providing a new avenue for development of salt tolerance in crop plants through effective breeding strategies and genetic engineering techniques.