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Spatial distributions and net deposition rates of mineral elements in the elongating wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) leaf under saline soil conditions

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Wheat leaf growth is known to be spatially affected by salinity. The altered spatial distribution of leaf growth under saline conditions may be associated with spatial changes in tissue mineral elements. The objective of this study was to evaluate the spatial distributions of mineral elements and their net deposition rates in the elongating and mature zones of leaf 4 of the main stem of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Lona) during its linear growth phase under saline soil conditions. Plants were grown in an illitic-chloritic silty loam with 0 and 120 mM NaCl. Three days after emergence of leaf 4, sampling was begun at 3 and 13 h into the 16-h light period. Spatial distributions of fresh weight (FW), dry weight (DW), and Na+, K+, Cl, NO 3, Ca2+, Mg2+, total P, and total N in the elongating and mature tissues were determined on a millimeter scale. The patterns of spatial distribution of Na+, Cl, K+, NO3 , and Ca2+ in the growing leaves were affected by salinity, while those of Mg2+, total P, and total N were not. Sodium, K+, Cl, Ca2+, Mg2+, and total N concentrations (mmol · kg−1 FW) were consistently higher at 120 mM NaCl than at 0 mM NaCl along the leaf axis from the leaf base, whereas NO3 concentration was lower at 120 mM NaCl. Deposition rates of all nutrients were greatest in the elongation zone. The elongation zone was the strongest sink for mineral elements in the leaf tissues. Local net deposition rates of Na+, Cl, Ca2+, and Mg2+ (mmol · kg−1 FW · h−1) in the most actively elongating zone were enhanced by 120 mM NaCl, whereas for NO3 this was depressed. The lower supply of NO 3 to growing leaves may be responsible for the inhibition of growth under saline conditions. Higher tissue concentrations of Na+ and Cl may cause ion imbalance but probably did not result in ion toxicity in the growing leaves. Potassium, Ca2+, Mg2+, total P, and total N are less plausibly responsible for the reduction in leaf growth in this study. Higher tissue K+ and Ca2+ concentrations at 120 mM NaCl are probably due to the presence of high Ca2+ in the soil of this study.

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Received: 13 March 1997 / Accepted: 9 June 1997

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Hu, Y., Schmidhalter, U. Spatial distributions and net deposition rates of mineral elements in the elongating wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) leaf under saline soil conditions. Planta 204, 212–219 (1998).

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