Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 1261–1269 | Cite as

The influence of salinity on cell ultrastructures and photosynthetic apparatus of barley genotypes differing in salt stress tolerance

  • Jabeen Zahra
  • Hussain Nazim
  • Shengguan Cai
  • Yong Han
  • Dezhi Wu
  • Binlin Zhang
  • Shamsi Imran Haider
  • Guoping Zhang
Original Paper


A hydroponic experiment was conducted to elucidate the difference in growth and cell ultrastructure between Tibetan wild and cultivated barley genotypes under moderate (150 mM NaCl) and high (300 mM NaCl) salt stress. The growth of three barley genotypes was reduced significantly under salt stress, but the wild barley XZ16 (tolerant) was less affected relative to cultivated barley Yerong (moderate tolerant) and Gairdner (sensitive). Meanwhile, XZ16 had lower Na+ and higher K+ concentrations in leaves than other two genotypes. In terms of photosynthetic and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, salt stress reduced maximal photochemical efficiency (F v/F m), net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), and intracellular CO2 concentration (Ci). XZ16 showed relatively smaller reduction in comparison with the two cultivated barley genotypes. The observation of transmission electron microscopy found that fundamental cell ultrastructure changes happened in both leaves and roots of all barley genotypes under salt NaCl stress, with chloroplasts being most changed. Moreover, obvious difference could be detected among the three genotypes in the damage of cell ultrastructure under salt stress, with XZ16 and Gairdner being least and most affected, respectively. It may be concluded that high salt tolerance in XZ16 is attributed to less Na+ accumulation and K+ reduction in leaves, more slight damage in cell ultrastructure, which in turn caused less influence on chloroplast function and photosynthesis.


Barley Cell ultrastructure Salt stress Tolerance 



Intercellular CO2 concentration


Fluorescence diacetate


Maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII


Propidium iodide


Photosynthetic photon flux density


Soil–plant analysis development


Transmission electron microscopy


Transpiration rate



This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. (31330055, 31301246 and 31171544), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. Z3110054). We thank professor Dongfa Sun of Huazhong Agriculture University for his kind help in providing Tibetan wild barley.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jabeen Zahra
    • 1
  • Hussain Nazim
    • 1
  • Shengguan Cai
    • 1
  • Yong Han
    • 1
  • Dezhi Wu
    • 1
  • Binlin Zhang
    • 1
  • Shamsi Imran Haider
    • 1
  • Guoping Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Agronomy Department, Key Laboratory of Crop Germplasm Resource of Zhejiang Province, Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and BiotechnologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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