Understanding the role of root‑related traits in salinity tolerance of quinoa accessions with contrasting epidermal bladder cell patterning
Kiani-Pouya, A and Rasouli, F and Shabala, L and Tahir, AT and Zhou, M and Shabala, S, Understanding the role of root‑related traits in salinity tolerance of quinoa accessions with contrasting epidermal bladder cell patterning, Planta, 251, (5) Article 103. ISSN 0032-0935 (2020) [Refereed Article]
To compensate for the lack of capacity for external salt storage in the epidermal bladder cells, quinoa plants employ tissue-tolerance traits, to confer salinity stress tolerance. Our previous studies indicated that sequestration of toxic Na+ and Cl- ions into epidermal bladder cells (EBCs) is an efficient mechanism conferring salinity tolerance in quinoa. However, some halophytes do not develop EBCs but still possess superior salinity tolerance. To elucidate the possible compensation mechanism(s) underlying superior salinity tolerance in the absence of the external salt storage capacity, we have selected four quinoa accessions with contrasting patterns of EBC development. Whole-plant physiological and electrophysiological characteristics were assessed after 2 days and 3 weeks of 400 mM NaCl stress. Both accessions with low EBC volume utilised Na+ exclusion at the root level and could maintain low Na+ concentration in leaves to compensate for the inability to sequester Na+ load in EBC. These conclusions were further confirmed by electrophysiological experiments showing higher Na+ efflux from roots of these varieties (measured by a non-invasive microelectrode MIFE technique) as compared to accessions with high EBC volume. Furthermore, accessions with low EBC volume had significantly higher K+ concentration in their leaves upon long-term salinity exposures compared to plants with high EBC sequestration ability, suggesting that the ability to maintain high K+ content in the leaf mesophyll was as another important compensation mechanism.