, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 405–413 | Cite as

Structural and functional organization of the photosynthetic apparatus in halophytes with different strategies of salt tolerance

  • O. A. Rozentsvet
  • E. S. Bogdanova
  • L. A. Ivanova
  • L. A. Ivanov
  • G. N. Tabalenkova
  • I. G. Zakhozhiy
  • V. N. Nesterov
Original papers


The specific features of the structural and functional organisation of the photosynthetic apparatus (PSA) were studied in wild halophytes representing three strategies of salt tolerance: euhalophyte Salicornia perennans, crynohalophyte Limonium gmelinii, and glycohalophyte Artemisia santonica. The sodium content in aboveground parts of the plants corresponded to the strategy of salt tolerance. The photosynthetic cells of the euhalophyte were large and contained a higher number of chloroplasts than those in other species. In contrast, the number of cells per a leaf area unit was lower in S. perennans as compared to cryno- and glycohalophytes. Thereupon, the cell and chloroplast surface area per leaf area unit declined in the following sequence: A. santonica > L. gmelinii > S. perennans. However, the large cells of euhalophyte contained chloroplasts of larger sizes with 4- to 5-fold higher chlorophyll (Chl) content per chloroplast and Chl concentration in chloroplast volume unit. Also, chloroplasts of S. perennans were characterised by the higher content of glyco- and phospholipids. Qualitative composition of fatty acids (FA) in lipids isolated from the chloroplast-enriched fraction was similar in all three species; however, the index of unsaturation of FA was higher in glycohalophyte A. santonica than those in two other species. Under natural condition, PSA of all three halophytes showed high resistance to soil salinity. The results indicated tolerance of PSII to the photodamage in halophytes. The high rate of electron transport through PSII can be important to prevent oxidative damage of PSA in halophytes under strong light and hight temperature in vivo. Thus, the strategy of salt tolerance is provided by both the leaf anatomical structure and the ultrastructure of photosynthetic membranes, which is determined in particular by the specific composition of lipids.

Additional key words

chlorophyll fluorescence mesostructure photoinhibition salt stress water content 



leaf area


total cell surface areas


chloroplast surface areas per leaf area








dry mass


electron transport rate


basic fluorescence level


fatty acids


maximal fluorescence


fresh mass


steady-state fluorescence


variable fluorescence






phosphatidic acids












photosynthetic apparatus






total lipids


thin-layer chromatography


unsaturation index of fatty acids


water content


actual quantum yield of PSII


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. A. Rozentsvet
    • 1
  • E. S. Bogdanova
    • 1
  • L. A. Ivanova
    • 2
  • L. A. Ivanov
    • 2
  • G. N. Tabalenkova
    • 3
  • I. G. Zakhozhiy
    • 3
  • V. N. Nesterov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Ecology of the Volga River BasinRussian Academy of SciencesTogliattiRussia
  2. 2.Botanical Garden, Ural BranchRussian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia
  3. 3.Institute of Biology, Komi Science CentreRussian Academy of SciencesSyktyvkarRussia

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