Halperin, S.J.; Gilroy, S.; Lynch, J.P.


Journal of Experimental Botany, Oxford University Press, Volume 54, Issue 385, UK, p.1269-1280 (2003)

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The effects of salinity (NaCl) stress on growth, cytosolic Ca 2+ gradients and cytosolic pH homeostasis of root hairs of Arabidopsis thaliana are assessed here. Neither cytosolic Ca 2+ nor pH at the hair apex were significantly affected by 20 min exposure of up to 90 mM NaCl or of up to 5 mM extracellular Ca 2+ . Exposure to increasing NaCl concentrations, up to 90 mM, for 2 d or 6 d reduced hair extension, and this inhibition was relieved by supplemental extracellular Ca 2+ . Such extended salinity stress reduced the magnitude of the Ca 2+ gradient in the apical 12 micro m of hairs at all NaCl concentrations tested (up to 90 mM), including NaCl concentrations that did not reduce hair extension. The magnitude of the tip-focused gradient was also reduced in root hairs of plants grown with low (0.5 mM) extracellular Ca 2+ when compared to those in 5 mM extracellular Ca 2+ , regardless of the presence of NaCl. Up to 90 mM NaCl did not affect cytosolic pH of root hairs in any of the treatments. It is concluded that NaCl inhibition of root hair extension in the long term may operate via alterations in the tip-focused Ca 2+ gradient that regulates root hair growth. However, NaCl-induced alterations in this gradient do not always lead to detectably altered growth kinetics. Short-term signalling events in response to NaCl may operate by a means other than altering Ca 2+ at the root hair apex. Salinity stress in root hairs does not appear to be mediated by effects on cytosolic pH.