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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Fatality of salt stress to plants: Morphological, physiological and biochemical aspects

Khalid Nawaz, Khalid Hussain, Abdul Majeed, Farah Khan, Shahid Afghan, Kazim Ali

Abstract


Soil salinity affects various physiological and biochemical processes which result in reduced biomass production. This adverse effect of salt stress appears on whole plant level at almost all growth stages including germination, seedling, vegetative and maturity stages. However, tolerance to salt stress at different plant developmental stages varies from species to species. The plant response to salt stress consists of numerous processes that must function in coordination to alleviate both cellular hyperosmolarity and ion disequilibrium. Salt tolerance and yield stability are complex genetic traits that are difficult to establish in crops since salt stress may occur as a catastrophic episode, be imposed continuously or intermittently and become gradually more severe at any stage during development. The objective of this review is to summarize the morphological, physiological and biochemical aspects of plants under salt stress. It was then concluded that salt stress affects plant physiology at whole plant as well as cellular levels through osmotic and ionic adjustments that result in reduced biomass production. This adverse effect of salt stress appears on whole plant level at almost all growth stages including germination, seedling, vegetative and maturity stages. Despite causing osmotic and ionic stress, salinity causes ionic imbalances that may impair the selectivity of root membranes and induce potassium deficiency.

Keywords: Salt stress, ions, osmotic adjustment, morphological, physiological and biochemical

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 9(34), pp. 5475-5480, 23 August, 2010



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