, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 455–463 | Cite as

Responses of gas exchange, chlorophyll synthesis and ROS-scavenging systems to salinity stress in two ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.) cultivars

  • C. -J. Huang
  • G. Wei
  • Y. -C. JieEmail author
  • J. -J. Xu
  • S. -Y. Zhao
  • L. -C. Wang
  • S. A. Anjum
Original Papers


Ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.) is an important crop that serves as fine fiber material, high protein feedstuff, and valuable herbal medicine in China. However, increasing salinity in soil limits the productivity. We investigated in a greenhouse experiment responses to salinity in two ramie cultivars, Chuanzhu-12 (salt-tolerant cultivar, ST) and Xiangzhu-2 (salt-sensitive cultivar, SS), to elucidate the salt tolerance mechanism of this species. Salinity stress substantially reduced both chlorophyll and carotenoid contents. In addition, net photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration, and the ratio of intercellular CO2 to ambient CO2 were affected, less in ST. Nevertheless, salinity stress markedly improved water use efficiency and intrinsic water use efficiency in both species. Moreover, relative water contents, soluble proteins, and catalase activity were substantially impaired, while proline accumulation and superoxide dismutase activity were enhanced substantially, more in ST. Furthermore, noteworthy increase in peroxidase activity and decrease in malondialdehyde content was recorded in ST, whereas, in SS, these attributes changed conversely. Overall, the cultivar ST exhibited salt tolerance due to its higher photosynthetic capacity, chlorophyll content, antioxidative enzyme activity, and nonenzymatic antioxidants, as well as reduced lipid peroxidation and maintenance of the tissue water content. This revealed the salt tolerance mechanism of ramie plants for adaptation to salt affected soil.

Additional key words

abiotic stress photosynthesis pigments lipid peroxidation antioxidant enzymes 






Chl a



intercellular CO2


intercellular CO2 to ambient CO2 concentration ratio


transpiration rate


stomatal conductance




net photosynthesis




relative water content


reactive oxygen species


superoxide dismutase


salt-sensitive cultivar


salt-tolerant cultivar


water-use efficiency


intrinsic water-use efficiency


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. -J. Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Wei
    • 2
  • Y. -C. Jie
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. -J. Xu
    • 2
  • S. -Y. Zhao
    • 2
  • L. -C. Wang
    • 3
  • S. A. Anjum
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of RamieHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Dazhou Institute of Agricultural SciencesSichuanChina
  3. 3.College of Agronomy and BiotechnologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

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