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Plant Physiol. Mar 1997; 113(3): 881–893.
PMCID: PMC158208

Growth, Water Relations, and Accumulation of Organic and Inorganic Solutes in Roots of Maize Seedlings during Salt Stress.


Seedlings of maize (Zea mays L. cv Pioneer 3906), hydroponically grown in the dark, were exposed to NaCl either gradually (salt acclimation) or in one step (salt shock). In the salt-acclimation treatment, root extension was indistinguishable from that of unsalinized controls for at least 6 d at concentrations up to 100 mM NaCl. By contrast, salt shock rapidly inhibited extension, followed by a gradual recovery, so that by 24 h extension rates were the same as for controls, even at 150 mM NaCl. Salt shock caused a rapid decrease in root water and solute potentials for the apical zones, and the estimated turgor potential showed only a small decline; similar but more gradual changes occurred with salt acclimation. The 5-bar decrease in root solute potential with salt shock (150 mM NaCl) during the initial 10 min of exposure could not be accounted for by dehydration, indicating that substantial osmotic adjustment occurred rapidly. Changes in concentration of inorganic solutes (Na+, K+, and Cl-) and organic solutes (proline, sucrose, fructose, and glucose) were measured during salt shock. The contribution of these solutes to changes in root solute potential with salinization was estimated.

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Selected References

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