Salinity Tolerance: Growth, Mineral Nutrients, and Roles of Organic Osmolytes, Case of Lygeum spartum L., A Review

  • Bouzid NedjimiEmail author


Soil salinity is a major environmental problem that limits plant growth, productivity, and survival. Proper drainage and the application of high quality water can although solve the problem; however, these measures are very costly and cannot be applied in extensive agriculture. An alternative strategy for sustainable agriculture in saline marginal lands is to select plants that can tolerate salinity. The plant’s ability to tolerate salinity depends on multiple biochemical pathways that enable retention and/or acquisition of water, protect photosynthetic functions, and maintain homeostasis of ions. Lygeum spartum L. is a pioneer grass species, used for sand dune fixation, desalination, and rehabilitation of degraded arid lands. The plant tolerates abiotic constraints such as salinity and drought and is also used to provide standing feed browse for livestock. The present paper reviews L. spartum plant responses to salinity stress with emphasis on the biochemical and physiological mechanisms of salt tolerance.


Compatible solutes Lygeum spartum Ions Osmotic adjustment Salt tolerance 



All researches were funded by MESRS (National Program of Research, Project No. 1/U7/7606 and CNEPRU Project code F–02820140009).


  1. Abdul Qados AMS (2011) Effect of salt stress on plant growth and metabolism of bean plant Vicia faba (L.). J Saudi Soc Agri Sci 10:7–15Google Scholar
  2. Ashraf M (1994) Breeding for salinity tolerance in plants. Crit Rev Plant Sci 13:17–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashraf M, Foolad MR (2007) Roles of glycine betaine and proline in improving plant abiotic stress resistance. Environ Exp Bot 59:206–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashraf M, Harris PJC (2004) Potential biochemical indicators of salinity tolerance in plants. Plant Sci 166:3–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashraf M, Wahid S (2000) Time-course changes in organic metabolites and mineral nutrients in germinating maize seeds under salt (NaCl) stress. Seed Sci Technol 28:641–656Google Scholar
  6. Baskin CC, Baskin JM (1998) Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  7. Bewley JD (1997) Seed germination and dormancy. Plant Cell 9:1055–1066PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Blumwald E (2000) Sodium transport and salt tolerance in plants. Curr Opin Cell Biol 12:431–434CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Carvajal M, Martinez V, Alcaraz CF (1999) Physiological functions of water channels as affected by salinity in roots of paprika pepper. Physiol Plant 105:95–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cha-um S, Charoenpanich A, Roytrakul S, Kirdmanee C (2009) Sugar accumulation, photosynthesis and growth of two indica rice varieties in response to salt stress. Acta Physiol Plant 31:477–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen THH, Murata N (2002) Enhancement of tolerance of abiotic stress by metabolic engineering of betaines and other compatible solutes. Curr Opin Plant Biol 5:250–257CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Conesa HM, Robinson BH, Schulin R, Nowack B (2007) Growth of Lygeum spartum in acid mine tailings: response of plants developed from seedlings, rhizomes and at field conditions. Environ Pollut 145:700–707CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Dubey RS, Singh AK (1999) Salinity induces accumulation of soluble sugars and alters the activity of sugars metabolising enzymes in rice plants. Biol Plant 42:233–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Epstein E (1998) How calcium enhances plant salt tolerance. Science 40:1906–1907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Flowers TJ, Colmer TD (2008) Flooding tolerance in halophytes. New Phytol 179:964–974CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Glenn EP, Brown JJ, Blumwald E (1999) Salt tolerance and crop potential of halophytes. Crit Rev Plant Sci 18:227–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guerrier G (1988) Comparative phosphatase activity in four species during germination in NaCl media. J Plant Nutr 11:535–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hare PD, Cress WA, Van Staden J (1998) Dissecting the roles of osmolyte accumulation during stress. Plant Cell Environ 21:535–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hartzendorf T, Rolletschek H (2001) Effects of NaCl-salinity on amino acid and carbohydrate contents of Phragmites australis. Aquat Bot 69:195–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hasegawa PM, Bressan RA, Zhu J-K, Bohnert HJ (2000) Plant cellular and molecular responses to high salinity. Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 51:463–499CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Javot H, Maurel C (2002) The role of aquaporins in root water uptake. Ann Bot 90:301–313PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kaya C, Kirnak H, Higgs D, Saltali K (2002) Supplementary calcium enhances plant growth and fruit yield in strawberry cultivars grown at high (NaCl) salinity. Sci Hortic 93:65–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keutgen AJ, Pawelzik E (2008) Contribution of amino acids to strawberry fruit quality and their relevance as stress indicators under NaCl salinity. Food Chem 111:642–647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Khan MA, Duke NC (2001) Halophytes – a resource for the future. Wetl Ecol Manag 6:455–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Khan MA, Gul B (2006) Halophyte seed germination. In: Khan MA, Weber DJ (eds) Ecophysiology of high salinity tolerant plants. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 11–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Khan MA, Ahmed MZ, Hameed A (2006) Effect of sea salt and L-ascorbic acid on the seed germination of halophytes. J Arid Environ 67:535–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. López M, Tejera NA, Iribarne C, Lluch C, Herrera-Cervera JA (2008) Trehalose and trehalase in root nodules of Medicago truncatula and Phaseolus vulgaris in response to salt stress. Physiol Plant 134:575–582CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Maathuis FJM, Amtmann A (1999) K+ nutrition and Na+ toxicity: the basis of cellular K+/Na+ ratios. Ann Bot 84:123–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Martinez-Ballesta MC, Martinez V, Carvajal M (2003) Aquaporin functionality in relation to H+–ATPase activity in root cells of Capsicum annuum grown under salinity. Physiol Plant 117:413–420CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Martinez-Ballesta MC, Silva C, Lopez-Berenguer C, Cabãnero FJ, Carvajal M (2006) Plant aquaporins: new perspectives on water and nutrient uptake in saline environment. Plant Biol 8:535–546CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Maurel C, Chrispeels MJ (2001) Aquaporins: a molecular entry into plant water relations. Plant Physiol 125:135–138PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Munns R (2002) Comparative physiology of salt and water stress. Plant Cell Environ 25:239–250CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Munns R, Tester M (2008) Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Annu Rev Plant Biol 59:651–681CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Nedjimi B (2009) Salt tolerance strategies of Lygeum spartum L.: a new fodder crop for Algerian saline steppes. Flora 204:747–754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nedjimi B (2011) Is salinity tolerance related to osmolytes accumulation in Lygeum spartum L. seedlings? J Saudi Soc Agri Sci 10:81–87Google Scholar
  36. Nedjimi B (2013) Effect of salinity and temperature on germination of Lygeum spartum L. Agric Res 2:340–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nedjimi B (2014) Effects of salinity on growth, membrane permeability and root hydraulic conductivity in three saltbush species. Biochem Syst Ecol 52:4–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nedjimi B, Daoud Y (2009a) Effects of calcium chloride on growth, membrane permeability and root hydraulic conductivity in two Atriplex species grown at high (sodium chloride) salinity. J Plant Nutr 32:1818–1830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nedjimi B, Daoud Y (2009b) Ameliorative effect of CaCl2 on growth, membrane permeability and nutrient uptake in Atriplex halimus subsp. schweinfurthii grown at high (NaCl) salinity. Desalination 249:163–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nedjimi B, Daoud Y, Carvajal M, Martinez-Ballesta MC (2010) Improvement of the adaptation of Lygeum spartum L. to salinity under the presence of calcium. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 41:2301–2317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nedjimi B, Guit B, Toumi M, Daoud Y (2013) Water status of Lygeum spartum L. seedlings subjected to salt stress. Bio Ressources 3:1–5Google Scholar
  42. Parida AK, Das AB (2005) Salt tolerance and salinity effects on plants: a review. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 60:324–349CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Patel AD, Bhensdadia H, Pandey AN (2009) Effect of salinisation of soil on growth, water status and general nutrient accumulation in seedlings of Delonix regia (Fabaceae). Acta Ecol Sin 29:109–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Probert RJ (1992) The role of temperature in germination ecophysiology. In: Fenner M (ed) Seeds: the ecology of regeneration in plant communities. CAB International, Wallingford, pp 327–348Google Scholar
  45. Promila K, Kumar S (2000) Vigna radiata seed germination under salinity. Biol Plant 43:423–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pugnaire FI, Haase P (1996) Comparative physiology and growth of two perennial tussock grass species in a semi-arid environment. Ann Bot 77:81–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ramani B, Reeck T, Debez A, Stelzer R, Huchzermeyer B, Schmidt A, Papenbrock J (2006) Aster tripolium L. and Sesuvium portulacastrum L.: two halophytes, two strategies to survive in saline habitats. Plant Physiol Biochem 44:395–408CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Rengasamy P (2010) Soil processes affecting crop production in salt-affected soils. Funct Plant Biol 37:613–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schäffner AR (1998) Aquaporin function structure and expression: are there more surprises to surface in water relations? Planta 204:131–139CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Shabala L, Cuin TA, Newman IA, Shabala S (2005) Salinity-induced ion flux patterns from the excised roots of Arabidopsis SOS mutants. Planta 222:1041–1050CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Shannon MC (1998) Adaptation of plants to salinity. Adv Agron 60:75–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Suárez N (2011) Effects of short-and long-term salinity on leaf water relations, gas exchange, and growth in Ipomoea pes-caprae. Flora 206:267–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sudhir P, Murth SDS (2004) Effects of salt stress on basic processes of photosynthesis. Photosynthetica 42:481–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tester M, Davenport R (2003) Na+ tolerance and Na+ transport in higher plants. Ann Bot 91:503–527PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Tlig T, Gorai M, Neffati M (2008) Germination responses of Diplotaxis harra to temperature and salinity. Flora 203:421–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tuna AL, Kaya C, Ashraf M, Altunlu H, Yokas I, Yagmur B (2007) The effects of calcium sulphate on growth, membrane stability and nutrient uptake of tomato plants grown under salt stress. Environ Exp Bot 59:173–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ungar IA (1995) Seed germination and seed-bank ecology of halophytes. In: Kigel J, Galili G (eds) Seed development and germination. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 599–629Google Scholar
  58. White PJ, Broadley MR (2003) Calcium in plants. Ann Bot 92:487–511PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Zhu JK (2003) Regulation of ion homeostasis under salt stress. Curr Opin Plant Biol 6:441–445CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Exploration and Valorization of Steppe Ecosystem, Faculty of Science of Nature and LifeUniversity of DjelfaDjelfaAlgeria

Personalised recommendations