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Plant responses to heterogeneous salinity: agronomic relevance and research priorities


Valenzuela, FJ and Reineke, D and Leventini, D and Chen, CCL and Barrett-Lennard, EG and Colmer, TD and Dodd, IC and Brown, P and Shabala, S, Plant responses to heterogeneous salinity: agronomic relevance and research priorities, Annals of Botany, 129, (5) pp. 499-517. ISSN 1095-8290 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1093/aob/mcac022


Background Soil salinity, in both natural and managed environments, is highly heterogeneous, and understanding how plants respond to this spatiotemporal heterogeneity is increasingly important for sustainable agriculture in the era of global climate change. While the vast majority of research on crop response to salinity utilizes homogeneous saline conditions, a much smaller, but important, effort has been made in the past decade to understand plant molecular and physiological responses to heterogeneous salinity mainly by using split-root studies. These studies have begun to unravel how plants compensate for water/nutrient deprivation and limit salt stress by optimizing root-foraging in the most favourable parts of the soil.

Scope This paper provides an overview of the patterns of salinity heterogeneity in rain-fed and irrigated systems. We then discuss results from split-root studies and the recent progress in understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms regulating plant responses to heterogeneous root-zone salinity and nutrient conditions. We focus on mechanisms by which plants (salt/nutrient sensing, root-shoot signalling and water uptake) could optimize the use of less-saline patches within the root-zone, thereby enhancing growth under heterogeneous soil salinity conditions. Finally, we place these findings in the context of defining future research priorities, possible irrigation management and crop breeding opportunities to improve productivity from salt-affected lands.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:salinity; stress; adaptation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Other plant production and plant primary products
Objective Field:Climate adaptive plants
UTAS Author:Shabala, S (Professor Sergey Shabala)
ID Code:155151
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited On:2023-01-31
Last Modified:2023-01-31

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