Aspects of Salt and Drought Tolerance in Higher Plants

  • R. G. Wyn Jones
  • J. Gorham
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 26)


In relation to salt tolerance in higher plants it may be suggested that two fundamental criteria must be fulfilled: (i) the maintenance of a cytoplasmic, ionic composition suitable for metabolic activity, particularly in apical meristems; and (ii) the maintenance of adequate turgor pressure by at least partial osmotic adjustment. A wide range of morphological/anatomical and physiological/biochemical characteristics observed in halophytes can be interpreted as contributing to their fulfillment. Recent data showing the extent of solute compartmentation in Suaeda maritima is described supporting this analysis. Cellular adaptations are only part of the total mechanism by which tolerance is acquired although these may be the more accessible to genetic manipulation. At the cellular level the accumulation of compatible cytosolutes is accepted to be of major importance although membrane transport must be equally so. Experiments are described comparing the effects of exogenous and endogenous proline and exogenous glycinebetaine on salt-stressed barley embryos and showing an interaction between organic solute and ion transport. The relevance of the data to the introduction of tolerance into cereals is assessed. The possible use of glycinebetaine in screening procedures and the potential significance of two different biosynthetic pathways in barley and in members of the Chenopodiaceae will be discussed briefly.


Salt Stress Salt Tolerance Drought Tolerance Phosphoryl Choline Leaf Primordium 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Wyn Jones
    • 1
  • J. Gorham
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Soil ScienceUniversity College of North WalesBangor GwyneddWales, UK

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