Low stomatal density and reduced transpiration facilitate strawberry adaptation to salinity. Orsini, F., Alnayef, M., Bona, S., Maggio, A., & Gianquinto, G. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 81:1–10, 2012.
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Water and soil salinization are major constraints to agricultural productions because plant adaptation to hyperosmotic environments is generally associated to reduced growth and ultimately yield loss. Understanding the physiological/molecular mechanisms that link adaptation and growth is one of the greatest challenges in plant stress research since it would allow us to better define strategies to improve crop salt tolerance. In this study we attempted to establish a functional link between morphological and physiological traits in strawberry in order to identify margins to “uncouple” plant growth and stress adaptation. Two strawberry cultivars, Elsanta and Elsinore, were grown under 0, 10.20 and 40 mM NaCl. Upon salinization Elsanta plants maintained a larger and more functional leaf area compared to Elsinore plants, which were irreversibly damaged at 40 mM NaCl. The tolerance of Elsanta was correlated with a constitutive reduced transpirational flux due to low stomata! density (173 vs. 234 stomata mm(-2) in Elsanta and Elsinore, respectively), which turned out to be critical to pre-adapt plants to the oncoming stress. The reduced transpiration rate of Elsanta (14.7 g H2O plant(-1) h(-1)) respect to Elsinore (17.7 g H2O plant(-1) h(-1)) most likely delayed the accumulation of toxic ions into the leaves, preserved tissues dehydration and consented to adjust more effectively to the hyperosmotic environment. Although we cannot rule out the contribution of other physiological and molecular mechanisms to the relatively higher tolerance of Elsanta, here we demonstrate that low stomatal density may be beneficial for cultivars prescribed to be used in marginal environments in terms of salinity and/or drought. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
@Article {Orsini2012,
author = {Orsini, F. and Alnayef, M. and Bona, S. and Maggio, A. and Gianquinto, G.}, 
title = {Low stomatal density and reduced transpiration facilitate strawberry adaptation to salinity}, 
journal = {Environmental and Experimental Botany}, 
volume = {81}, 
pages = {1--10}, 
year = {2012}, 
doi = {10.1016/j.envexpbot.2012.02.005}, 
abstract = {Water and soil salinization are major constraints to agricultural productions because plant adaptation to hyperosmotic environments is generally associated to reduced growth and ultimately yield loss. Understanding the physiological/molecular mechanisms that link adaptation and growth is one of the greatest challenges in plant stress research since it would allow us to better define strategies to improve crop salt tolerance. In this study we attempted to establish a functional link between morphological and physiological traits in strawberry in order to identify margins to “uncouple” plant growth and stress adaptation. Two strawberry cultivars, Elsanta and Elsinore, were grown under 0, 10.20 and 40 mM NaCl. Upon salinization Elsanta plants maintained a larger and more functional leaf area compared to Elsinore plants, which were irreversibly damaged at 40 mM NaCl. The tolerance of Elsanta was correlated with a constitutive reduced transpirational flux due to low stomata! density (173 vs. 234 stomata mm(-2) in Elsanta and Elsinore, respectively), which turned out to be critical to pre-adapt plants to the oncoming stress. The reduced transpiration rate of Elsanta (14.7 g H2O plant(-1) h(-1)) respect to Elsinore (17.7 g H2O plant(-1) h(-1)) most likely delayed the accumulation of toxic ions into the leaves, preserved tissues dehydration and consented to adjust more effectively to the hyperosmotic environment. Although we cannot rule out the contribution of other physiological and molecular mechanisms to the relatively higher tolerance of Elsanta, here we demonstrate that low stomatal density may be beneficial for cultivars prescribed to be used in marginal environments in terms of salinity and/or drought. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.}, 
note = { }, 
keywords = {stomatal density; leaf gas exchanges; transpiration; salt tolerance; osmotic adjustment; salt-stress tolerance; water-use efficiency; nacl salinity; hydraulic conductivity; irrigation water; dynamic indexes; leaf expansion; abscisic-acid; growth; plants}, 
type = {CropM}}

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