Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 1399–1409 | Cite as

Anatomical and physiological characteristics relating to ionic relations in some salt tolerant grasses from the Salt Range, Pakistan

  • Mansoor HameedEmail author
  • Muhammad Ashraf
  • Nargis Naz
Original Paper


Populations of three salt tolerant forage grasses (Cynodon dactylon, Imperata cylindrica, and Sporobolus arabicus) were collected from the salt-affected soils of the Salt Range and normal non-saline soils of the Faisalabad region to assess their mechanism of adaptation to saline stress by determining ion relations and some specific anatomical modifications. The population of S. arabicus from the Salt Range showed increased growth (root and shoot length, and root and shoot dry weights) under saline conditions. Salt tolerance in this species was related to structural modifications such as increased area of root, stem, leaf blade, and leaf sheath for toxic ion accumulation, increased vesicular hair density in leaves and aerenchyma formation in leaf sheath for ion exclusion. Uptake of toxic ions was high in the Salt Range population of C. dactylon and salt tolerance was related to ion exclusion through specific leaf structural modifications such as vesicular hairs. Salt tolerance in the Salt Range population of I. cylindrica was mainly associated with restricted uptake of toxic Na+ and Cl at root level, and accumulation of toxic ions via increased succulence in leaf blades and leaf sheaths in addition to some excretion of toxic ions through leaf sheath aerenchyma.


Adaptation Aerenchyma Salt tolerance Succulence Vesicular hairs 


  1. Ashraf M (1994) Breeding for salinity tolerance in plants. Crit Rev Plant Sci 13:17–42Google Scholar
  2. Ashraf M (1997) Changes in soluble carbohydrates and soluble proteins in three arid-zone grass species under salt stress. J Trop Agric 74:234–237Google Scholar
  3. Ashraf M, Ahmad H (1995) Response of three arid zone grasses to salt and waterlogging. Arid Soil Res Rehabil 9:137–154Google Scholar
  4. Cheng KT, Chou CH (1997) Ecotypic variation of Imperata cylindrica populations in Taiwan. I. Morphological and molecular evidences. Bot Bull Acad Sin 38:215–223Google Scholar
  5. de Lacerda CF, Cambraia J, Oliva MA, Ruiz HA (2005) Changes in growth and in solute concentrations in sorghum leaves and roots during salt stress recovery. Environ Exp Bot 54:69–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Flowers TJ, Colmer TD (2008) Salinity tolerance in halophytes. New Phytol 179:945–963PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gulzar S, Khan MA, Ungar IA (2003) Effects of salinity on growth, ionic content, and plant–water status of Aeluropus lagopoides. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 34:1657–1668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hagemeyer J (1997) Salt. In: Prasard MNV (ed) Plant ecophysiology. Wiley, Toronto, ON, pp 173–206Google Scholar
  9. Hameed M, Ashraf M (2008) Physiological and biochemical adaptations of Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. from the Salt Range (Pakistan) to salinity stress. Flora 203:683–694Google Scholar
  10. Hameed M, Ashraf M, Naz N (2009) Anatomical adaptations to salinity in cogon grass [Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeuschel] from the Salt Range, Pakistan. Plant Soil 322:229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hoagland DR, Arnon DI (1950) The water culture method for growing plants without soil. Circular No. 347. University of California Agricultural Experimental Station, Berkeley, CA, pp 1–39Google Scholar
  12. Khan MA, Gul B, Weber DJ (2000) Germination responses to Salicornia rubra to temperature and salinity. J Arid Environ 45:207–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mahmood S, Athar HR (2003) Germination and growth of Panicum turgidum provenance under saline conditions. Pak J Biol Sci 6:164–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Marcum KB (1999) Salinity tolerance mechanisms of grasses in the subfamily Chloridoideae. Crop Sci 39:1153–1160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Munns R (2002) Comparative physiology of salt and water stress. Plant Cell Environ 25:239–250PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Munns R, Tester M (2008) Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Annu Rev Plant Biol 59:651–681PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Munns R, Greenway H, Kirst GO (1983) Halotolerant eukaryotes. In: Lange OL, Nobel PS, Osmond CB, Ziegler H, Ziegler H (eds) Encyclopaedia of plant physiology, vol 12C: Physiological plant ecology III. Springer, Berlin, pp 59–135Google Scholar
  18. Naz N, Hameed M, Wahid A, Arshad M, Ahmad MSA (2009) Patterns of ion excretion and survival in two stoloniferous arid zone grasses. Physiol Plant 135:185–195PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Oross WJ, Thomson WW (1982) The ultrastructure of the salt glands of Cynodon and Distichlis (Poaceae). Am J Bot 69:939–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ramadan T, Flowers T (2004) Effects of salinity and benzyl adenine on development and function of microhairs of Zea mays L. Planta 219:639–648PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ruzin SE (1999) Plant microtechnique and microscopy. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Short DC, Colmer TD (1999) Salt tolerance in the halophyte Halosarcia pergranulata subsp. Pergranulata. Ann Bot 83:207–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Somaru R, Naidoo Y, Naidoo G (2002) Morphology and ultrastructure of the leaf salt glands of Odyssea paucinervis (Stapf) (Poaceae). Flora 197:67–75Google Scholar
  24. Steel RGD, Torrie JH, Dickie DA (1997) Principles and procedures of statistics—a biometric approach, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  25. Wolf B (1982) An improved universal extracting solution and its use for diagnosing soil fertility. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 13:1005–1033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zhu JK (2003) Regulation of ion homeostasis under salt stress. Curr Opin Plant Biol 6:441–445PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Botany and MicrobiologyKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations