Plant and Soil

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 269–279 | Cite as

The effect of phenylmercuric acetate on salt tolerance in wheat

  • N. M. A. R. Malash
  • T. J. Flowers


Sodium chloride reduced the growth of the wheat cultivar Armada. Although phenylmercuric acetate (PMA) also reduced the growth under non-saline conditions, in the presence of sodium chloride (100 mM) fresh weight, dry weight and leaf area per plant were promoted particularly when sprayed with PMA at 50 μM. Both net photosynthesis and transpiration were reduced by PMA but the reduction was greater in the absence rather than the presence of NaCl. Furthermore PMA lowered shoot sodium contents and promoted the selectivity for K over Na under saline conditions. Any beneficial effects of PMA are the consequences of improved water relations, lowered ion content and increased leaf area for photosynthesis.

Key words

Growth Net photosynthesis Phenylmercuric acetate Salinity Sodium chloride Transpiration 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abel G and Mackenzie A J 1964 Salt tolerance of soybean varieties (Glycine max L. Merrill) during germination and later growth. Crop Sci. 4, 157–160.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bradford K J 1983 Water relations and growth of the flacca tomato mutant in relation to abscisic acid. Plant Physiol. 72, 251–225.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bravdo B 1972 Effect of several transpiration suppressants on carbon dioxide and water vapour exchange of citrus and grapevine leaves. Physiol. Plant. 26, 152–156.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brengle K G 1968 Effect of phenylmercuric acetate on growth and water use of spring wheat. Agron. J. 60, 246–247.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davenport D C, Fisher M A and Hagan R M 1971 Retarded stomatal closure by phenylmercuric acetate. Physiol. Plant. 24, 330–336.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Davenport D C, Fisher M A and Hagan R M 1972 Some counteractive effects of antitranspirants. Plant Physiol. 49, 722–724.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fuehring H D 1973 Effect of antitranspirants on yield of grain sorghum under limited irrigation. Agron. J. 65, 348–351.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hoagland D R and Arnon D I 1950 The water culture method for growing plants without soil. California Agri. Exp. Sta., Univ. Calif. Berkeley Circular No. 347, pp 32.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mishra D and Pradham G C 1972 Effect of transpiration-reducing chemicals on growth, flowering and stomatal openings of tomato plants. Plant Physiol. 50, 271–274.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mizrahi Y, Scherings S G, Malis Arad S and Richmond A E 1974 Aspects of the effect of ABA on the water status of barley and wheat seedlings. Physiol. Plant. 31, 44–50.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nagarajah S and Ratnassoriya G B 1977 Studies with antitranspirants on tea (Camellia sinensis L.) Plant and Soil 48, 185–197.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pitman M G 1976 Ion uptake by plant roots.In Encyclopaedia of Plant Physiology, New Series Vol. 2, Part Eds. B W Lüttge and M G Pitman. pp 95–128, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Radford P J 1967 Growth analysis formulae. Their use and abuse. Crop Sci. 7, 171–175.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shimshi D 1963 Effect of chemical closure of stomata on transpiration in varied soil and atmospheric environments. Plant Physiol. 38, 709–712.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shimshi D 1963 The effect of soil moisture and phenylmercuric acetate upon stomatal aperture, transpiration and photosynthesis. Plant Physiol. 38, 713–721.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Slatyer R O and Bierhuizen J F 1964 The influence of several transpiration suppressants on transpiration, photosynthesis and water-use efficiency of cotton leaves. Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 17, 131–146.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Solarova J, Pospisilova J and Slavik B 1981 Gas exchange regulation by changing of epidermal conductance with antitranspirants. Photosynthetica 15, 365–400.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Squire G R and Jones M B 1971 Studies on the mechanisms of action of the antitranspirant phenyl-mercuric acetate, and its penetration into the mesophyll. J. Exp. Bot. 22, 980–991.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Thorne G N 1960 Variation with age in net assimilation rate and other growth attributes of sugar beet, potato and barley in a controlled environment. Ann. Bot. N.S. 24, 356–371.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Waggoner P E 1966 Decreasing transpiration and the effect upon growth.In Plant Environment and Efficient Water Use. Eds. W H Pierre, D Kirkham, J Pesek and R Shaw, American Society of Agronomists. Madison, Wisconsin, pp 49–72.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Waisel Y, Borger G A and Kozlowski T T 1969 Effects of phenylmercuric acetate on stomatal movements and transpiration of excisedbetula papyrifera Marsh leaves. Plant Physiol. 44, 685–690.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wieneke J and Läuchli A 1978 Salt relations of soybean mutants differing in salt tolerance: Effects of salinity or short-term ion uptake.In Plant Nutrition, Proceedings of the 8th International Colloquium Analysis and Fertilizer Problems, Auckland, New Zealand, August 28–September 1 1978. DSIR information Series No. 134, 555–562.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Yeo A R and Flowers T J 1980 Salt tolerance in the halophyte Suaeda maritima L. Dum. Evaluation of the effect of salinity upon growth. J. Exp. Bot. 31, 1171–1183.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zelitch I 1961 Biochemical control of stomatal opening in leaves. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 47, 1423–1433.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. M. A. R. Malash
    • 1
  • T. J. Flowers
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

Personalised recommendations