Physiological Basis of Salt Tolerance in Plants

  • Leon Bernstein
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 8)


For most plants, and under most field conditions, osmotic effects of salinity greatly predominate in restricting growth and yields. In certain cases, however, specific ion effects may be decisive. These may involve either nutrition, as in calcium deficiency in some lettuce varieties, tomato, and bell peppers, or direct toxicity (chloride or sodium toxicity, or both) in tree and vine crops. Rootstocks, or varieties that restrict the uptake of toxic ions, increase the salt tolerance of some susceptible fruit crops. Salinity-induced nutritional imbalance can, in some cases, be corrected by selecting better adapted varieties and in others by the use of foliar nutrient sprays. Recent evidence indicates simple single-gene control over uptakes of chloride and sodium, but the more general osmotic effects appear to be complex and under multigenic control.


Salt Tolerance Osmotic Adjustment Bermuda Grass Osmotic Effect Bell Pepper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abel, G. H. (1969). Inheritance of the capacity for chloride inclusion and chloride exclusion by soybeans. Crop Sci. 9: 697–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abel, G. H. and MacKenzie, A. J. (1964). Salt tolerance of soybean varieties (Glycine max L. Merrill) during germination and later growth. Crop Sci. 4: 157–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernstein, L. (1964a). Salt tolerance of plants. U.S. Dept. Agri., Agri. Inf. Bull. 283: 23 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Bernstein, L. (1964b). Effects of salinity on mineral composition and growth of plants. Plant Anal. Fert. Probl. 4: 25–45.Google Scholar
  5. Bernstein, L. (1965). Salt tolerance of fruit crops. U.S. Dept. Agri., Agri. Inf. Bull. 292: 8 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Bernstein, L. (1975). Effects of salinity and sodicity on plant growth. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 13: 295–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernstein, L. and Ayers, A. D. (1953). Salt tolerance of five varieties of carrots. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 61: 360–366.Google Scholar
  8. Bernstein, L., Ehlig, C. F., and Clark, R. A. (1969). Effect of grape rootstocks on chloride accumulation in leaves. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 94: 584–590.Google Scholar
  9. Doneen, L. D., and Grogan, R. G. (1954). Lettuce tolerance to the sulfate ion. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. (oral communication, Western Section).Google Scholar
  10. Geraldson, C. M. (1956). Watch nutrient intensity and balance; by checking soil solution soluble salts, we can prevent blossom-end rot of tomatoes and peppers and blackheart of celery. Sunshine State Fla. Agri. Exp. Sta. Res. Rep. 1 (3): 10–11.Google Scholar
  11. Geraldson, C. M. (1957). Control of blossom-end rot of tomatoes. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 69: 309–317.Google Scholar
  12. Greenway, H. and Osmond, C. B. (1972). Salt responses of enzymes from species differing in salt tolerance. Plant Physiol. 49: 256–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hannon, N. J., and Barber, H. N. (1972). The mechanism of salt tolerance in naturally selected populations of grasses. Search Sydney 3: 259–260.Google Scholar
  14. Ingram, M. (1957). Micro-organisms resisting high concentrations of sugars or salts. In 7th Symp. Soc. Gen. Microbiol., pp. 90–133. Cambridge Univ. Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  15. Marth, P. C. and Frank, J. R. (1961). Increasing tolerance of soybean plants to some soluble salts through application of plant growth-retardant chemicals. J. Agri. Food Chem. 9: 359–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mizrahi, Y., Blumenfeld, A., Bittner, S., and Richmond, A. E. (1971). Abscisic acid and cytokinin contents of leaves in relation to salinity and relative humidity. Plant Physiol. 48: 752–755.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Osmond, C.B. and Greenway, H. (1972). Salt responses of carboxylation enzymes from species differing in salt tolerance. Plant Physiol. 49: 260–263.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Strogonov, B. P., Kabanov, V. V., Shevjakova, N. I., Lapina, L. P., Komizerko, E. I., Popov, B. A., Dostanova, R. Kh. and Prykhod’ko, L. S. (1970). Structure and Function of Plant Cells in Saline Habitats. (Translated from Russian by A. Mercado, Wiley, New York, 1974.)Google Scholar
  19. Weimberg, R. (1970). Enzyme levels in pea seedlings grown on highly salinized media. Plant Physiol. 46: 466–470.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon Bernstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Costa MesaUSA

Personalised recommendations