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Plant Cell Physiol. 2013 Dec;54(12):1976-88. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pct134. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Ionomic responses and correlations between elements and metabolites under salt stress in wild and cultivated barley.

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Department of Agronomy, Key Laboratory of Crop Germplasm Resource of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.


A thorough understanding of ionic detoxification and homeostasis is imperative for improvement of salt tolerance in crops. However, the homeostasis of elements and their relationship to metabolites under salt stress have not been fully elucidated in plants. In this study, Tibetan wild barley accessions, XZ16 and XZ169, differing in salt tolerance, and a salt-tolerant cultivar CM72 were used to investigate ionomic profile changes in tissues in response to 150 and 300 mM NaCl at the germination and seedling stages. At the germination stage, the contents of Ca and Fe significantly decreased in roots, while K and S contents increased, and Ca and Mg contents decreased in shoots, after 10 d of treatment. At the seedling stage, the contents of K, Mg, P and Mn in roots and of K, Ca, Mg and S in shoots decreased significantly after 21 d of treatment. Moreover, Na had a significant negative correlation with metabolites involved in glycolysis, α-ketoglutaric acid, maleic acid and alanine in roots, and metabolites associated with the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, sucrose, polyols and aspartate in leaves. The salt-tolerant genotypes XZ16 and CM72 showed a lower Na content in tissues, and less reduction in Zn and Cu in roots, of Ca, Mg and S in leaves, and shoot DW than the sensitive genotype XZ169, when exposed to a higher salt level. The results indicated that restriction of Na accumulation and rearrangement of nutrient elements and metabolites in barley tissues are possibly attributable to development of salt tolerance.


Hordeum vulgare; Ion homeostasis; Ionomics; Metabolite; Salt tolerance

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