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Type: Journal article
Title: Evaluating contribution of ionic, osmotic and oxidative stress components towards salinity tolerance in barley
Author: Adem, G.
Roy, S.
Zhou, M.
Bowman, J.
Shabala, S.
Citation: BMC Plant Biology, 2014; 14(1):1-13
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1471-2229
Statement of
Getnet Dino Adem, Stuart J Roy, Meixue Zhou, John P Bowman, and Sergey Shabala
Abstract: Background: Salinity tolerance is a physiologically multi-faceted trait attributed to multiple mechanisms. Three barley (Hordeum vulgare) varieties contrasting in their salinity tolerance were used to assess the relative contribution of ionic, osmotic and oxidative stress components towards overall salinity stress tolerance in this species, both at the whole-plant and cellular levels. In addition, transcriptional changes in the gene expression profile were studied for key genes mediating plant ionic and oxidative homeostasis (NHX; RBOH; SOD; AHA and GORK), to compare a contribution of transcriptional and post-translational factors towards the specific components of salinity tolerance. Results: Our major findings are two-fold. First, plant tissue tolerance was a dominating component that has determined the overall plant responses to salinity, with root K(+) retention ability and reduced sensitivity to stress-induced hydroxyl radical production being the main contributing tolerance mechanisms. Second, it was not possible to infer which cultivars were salinity tolerant based solely on expression profiling of candidate genes at one specific time point. For the genes studied and the time point selected that transcriptional changes in the expression of these specific genes had a small role for barley's adaptive responses to salinity. Conclusions: For better tissue tolerance, sodium sequestration, K(+) retention and resistance to oxidative stress all appeared to be crucial. Because these traits are highly interrelated, it is suggested that a major progress in crop breeding for salinity tolerance can be achieved only if these complementary traits are targeted at the same time. This study also highlights the essentiality of post translational modifications in plant adaptive responses to salinity.
Keywords: Hordeum
Plant Shoots
Plant Roots
Sodium Chloride
Hydroxyl Radical
Plant Proteins
Gene Expression Profiling
Transcription, Genetic
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Oxidative Stress
Salt Tolerance
Rights: © 2014 Adem et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-14-113
Grant ID: ARC
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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