Salinity stress inhibits calcium loading into the xylem of excised barley (Hordeum vulgare) roots


Halperin, S.J.; Kochian, L.V.; Lynch, J.P.


New Phytologist, Volume 135, Issue 3, p.419-427 (1997)

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Salinity stress inhibits Ca translocation to the shoot, leading to Ca deficiency. The objective of this study was to determine whether salt stress inhibits Ca translocation through effects on younger root regions, where radial Ca transport is largely apoplastic, or through effects on mature regions of the roots, where radial Ca transport is largely symplastic. Roots were excised from 4-day-old dark-grown barley seedlings. Calcium translocation was studied by application of 45 Ca 3 or 6 cm from the root tip and measurement of its appearance in the root exudate. Calcium uptake along the axis of excised roots was studied with a vibrating Ca +2 microelectrode. Salt stress (60 mM NaCl) inhibited Ca translocation from the 6 cm region more than from the 3 cm region. Sodium sulfate treatments (30 and 36 mM) were more deleterious to Ca translocation than was NaCl in the 3 cm region, and 110 mM mannitol and 60 mM KCl affected Ca translocation similarly to Na 2 SO 4 . The salt and mannitol treatments were more deleterious to Ca translocation in the 6 cm region than in the 3 cm region, and mannitol and KCl inhibited Ca translocation more than the sodium treatments. Supplemental Ca could overcome the inhibition of Ca translocation by NaCl stress. Calcium uptake into the root at the 3 and 6 cm regions was not reduced by NaCl, but was retarded 0.05 cm from the apex. It is concluded that symplastic Ca transport is more inhibited than apoplastic transport in salinized roots, and that the osmotic component of salt stress causes most of the inhibition. Since symplastic transport is inhibited, the possibility exists that research into the effects of salinity on the transport functions of endodermal cells will yield information that can be used to improve Ca translocation in salt-affected plants.