Salt Tolerance and Crop Potential of Halophytes

Glenn, E.P. and Brown, J.J. and Blumwald, E. (1999) Salt Tolerance and Crop Potential of Halophytes. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 18 (2). pp. 227-255.

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Although they represent only 2% of terrestrial plant species, halophytes are present in about half the higher plant families and represent a wide diversity of plant forms. Despite their polyphyletic origins, halophytes appear to have evolved the same basic method of osmotic adjustment: accumulation of inorganic salts, mainly NaCl, in the vacuole and accumulation of organic solutes in the cytoplasm. Differences between halophyte and gly-cophyte ion transport systems are becoming apparent. The pathways by which Na+ and Cl− enters halophyte cells are not well understood but may involve ion channels and pinocytosis, in addition to Na+ and Cl− transporters. Na+ uptake into vacuoles requires Na+/H+ antiporters in the tonoplast and H+ ATPases and perhaps PPi ases to provide the proton motive force. Tonoplast antiporters are constitutive in halophytes, whereas they must be activated by NaCl in salt-tolerant glycophytes, and they may be absent from salt-sensitive glycophytes. Halophyte vacuoles may have a modified lipid composition to prevent leakage of Na+ back to the cytoplasm. Becuase of their diversity, halophytes have been regarded as a rich source of potential new crops. Halophytes have been tested as vegetable, forage, and oilseed crops in agronomic field trials. The most productive species yield 10 to 20 ton/ha of biomass on seawater irrigation, equivalent to conventional crops. The oilseed halophyte, Sali-cornia bigelovii, yields 2 t/ha of seed containing 28% oil and 31% protein, similar to soybean yield and seed quality. Halophytes grown on seawater require a leaching fraction to control soil salts, but at lower salinities they outperform conventional crops in yield and water use efficiency. Halophyte forage and seed products can replace conventional ingredients in animal feeding systems, with some restrictions on their use due to high salt content and antinutritional compounds present in some species. Halophytes have applications in recycling saline agricultural wastewater and reclaiming salt-affected soil in arid-zone irrigation districts

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: salt stress, saline water irrigation, seawater crops, osmotic adjustment, sodium uptake
Author Affiliation: Environmental Research Laboratory, 2601 East Airport Drive, Tucson, Arizona 85706
Subjects: Plant Production
Soil Science and Microbiology > Soil Sciences
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 06:02
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 06:02
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