Salt Excretion in Suaeda Fruticosa
Suaeda fruticosa is a perennial “includer” halophyte devoid of glands or trichomes with a strong ability of accumulating and sequestrating Na+ and Cl-. We were interested in determining whether leaf cuticle salt excretion could be involved as a further mechanism in salt response of this species after long-term treatment with high salinity levels. Seedlings had been treated for three months with seawater (SW) diluted with tap water (0, 25, 50 and 75% SW). Leaf scanning electron microscopy revealed a convex adaxial side sculpture and a higher accumulation of saline crystals at the lamina margin, with a large variability on repartition and size between treatments. No salt gland or salt bladder was found. Three-dimensional wax decorations were the only structures found on leaf surface. Washing the leaf surface with water indicated that sodium and chloride predominated in excreted salts, and that potassium was poorly represented. Optimal growth of whole plant was recorded at 25% SW, correlating with maximum Na+ and Cl- absolute secretion rate. The leaves of plants treated with SW retained more water than those of plants treated with tap water due to lower solute potential, especially at 25% SW. Analysis of compatible solute, such as proline, total soluble carbohydrates and glycinebetaine disclosed strong relationship between glycinebetaine and osmotic potential (r = 0.92) suggesting that tissue hydration was partly maintained by glycinebetaine accumulation. Thus in S. fruticosa, increased solute accumulation associated with water retention, and steady intracellular ion homeostasis confirms the “includer” strategy of salt tolerance previously demonstrated. However, salt excretion at leaf surface also participated in conferring to this species a capacity in high salinity tolerance.
KeywordsHalophyte includer strategy excluder strategy proline glycinebetaine salt excretion
leaf osmotic potential
scanning electron microscopy
total soluble carbohydrates
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