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Salinity has adverse effects on plants and is one of the causes of environment degradation. Plants have developed many defensive mechanisms, protecting them from sodium chloride (NaCl), including accumulation of osmoprotective compounds, which maintain osmotic balance, protect cell structure and enzymes. In the current study, we investigated the effects of salinity resulting from a range of sodium chloride concentrations (from 0 to 400 mM) on the growth of common duckweed (Lemna minor L.) and yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus L.). Increasing concentration of sodium chloride decreased the area of common duckweed leaves. At the highest applied salt concentration, the decrease of leaf area was associated with leaf chlorosis. In yellow lupin, the increasing sodium chloride concentration inhibited root and stem elongation. The highest tested NaCl concentration of 400 mM completely stopped elongation of yellow lupin shoots. The content of cyclitols and soluble carbohydrates in plant tissues was evaluated as well. Cyclitols (D -chiro -inositol and D -pinitol), as well as soluble carbohydrates (glucose, fructose and sucrose) were detected in common duckweed tissues. Yellow lupin seedlings also contained cyclitols - D -pinitol, myo -inositol and D -chiro -inositol - and soluble carbohydrates - glucose, galactose and sucrose. The content of osmoprotectants in plant tissues, especially sucrose and cyclitols, increased with increasing concentration of sodium chloride in the soil. The results indicate that the content of cyclitols and soluble carbohydrates in plant tissues can be an indicator of plant response to salinity stress.
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