Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 41:190 | Cite as

Do carbohydrate metabolism and partitioning contribute to the higher salt tolerance of Hordeum marinum compared to Hordeum vulgare?

  • Wided Medini
  • Nèjia Farhat
  • Shadha Al-Rawi
  • Harendra Mahto
  • Hadeel Qasim
  • Emna Ben-Halima
  • Mouna Bessrour
  • Farhat Chibani
  • Chedly Abdelly
  • Joerg Fettke
  • Mokded RabhiEmail author
Original Article


The aim of the present work was to check whether carbohydrate metabolism and partitioning contribute to the higher salt tolerance of the facultative halophyte Hordeum marinum compared to the glycophyte Hordeum vulgare. Seedlings with the same size from the two species were hydroponically grown at 0 (control), 150, and 300 mM NaCl for 3 weeks. H. marinum maintained higher relative growth rate, which was concomitant with a higher aptitude to maintain better shoot tissue hydration and membrane integrity under saline conditions compared to H. vulgare. Gas exchanges were reduced in the two species under saline conditions, but an increase in their water use efficiency was recorded. H. marinum exhibited an increase in leaf soluble sugar concentrations under saline conditions together with an enhancement in the transglucosidase DPE2 (EC activity at 300 mM NaCl. However, H. vulgare showed a high increase in starch phosphorylase (EC activity under saline conditions together with a decrease in leaf glucose and starch concentrations at 300 mM NaCl. In roots, both species accumulated glucose and fructose at 150 mM NaCl, but H. marinum exhibited a marked decrease in soluble sugar concentrations and an increase in starch concentration at 300 mM NaCl. Our data constitute an initiation to the involvement of carbohydrate metabolism and partitioning in salt responses of barley species and further work is necessary to elucidate how their flexibility confers higher tolerance to H. marinum compared to H. vulgare.


Cultivated barley DPE2 Flexibility Pho1 Pho2 Sea barley 



Net CO2 assimilation




Transpiration rate


Electrical conductivity


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Electrolyte leakage


Stomatal conductance


Oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


Phosphoglucose isomerase


Plastidial phosphorylase isoform


Cytosolic phosphorylase isoform


Photosynthetic photon flux density


Relative growth rate


Reactive oxygen species


150 mM NaCl


300 mM NaCl


Water use efficiency



This work was supported by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (LR10CBBC02) and the University of Potsdam (Germany).


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wided Medini
    • 1
  • Nèjia Farhat
    • 1
  • Shadha Al-Rawi
    • 2
  • Harendra Mahto
    • 2
  • Hadeel Qasim
    • 2
  • Emna Ben-Halima
    • 1
  • Mouna Bessrour
    • 1
  • Farhat Chibani
    • 1
  • Chedly Abdelly
    • 1
  • Joerg Fettke
    • 2
  • Mokded Rabhi
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Extremophile PlantsCentre of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria (CBBC)Hammam-LifTunisia
  2. 2.Biopolymer AnalyticsUniversity of PotsdamPotsdam-GolmGermany
  3. 3.Department of Plant Production and Protection, College of Agriculture and Veterinary MedicineQassim UniversityQassimSaudi Arabia

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