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Effect of divalent cations on ion fluxes and leaf photochemistry in salinized barley leaves

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 16:35 authored by Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala, Svetlana ShabalaSvetlana Shabala, Van Volkenburgh, E, Ian NewmanIan Newman
Photosynthetic characteristics, leaf ionic content, and net fluxes of Na+, K+, and Cl- were studied in barley (Hordeum vulgare L) plants grown hydroponically at various Na/Ca ratios. Five weeks of moderate (50 mM) or high (100 mM) NaCl stress caused a significant decline in chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence characteristics, and stomatal conductance (gs) in plant leaves grown at low calcium level. Supplemental Ca2+ enabled normal photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm around 0.83), restored chlorophyll content to 80-90% of control, but had a much smaller (50% of control) effect on g s. In experiments on excised leaves, not only Ca2+, but also other divalent cations (in particular, Ba2+ and Mg 2+), significantly ameliorated the otherwise toxic effect of NaCl on leaf photochemistry, thus attributing potential targets for such amelioration to leaf tissues. To study the underlying ionic mechanisms of this process, the MIFE technique was used to measure the kinetics of net Na+, K +, and Cl- fluxes from salinized barley leaf mesophyll in response to physiological concentrations of Ca2+,Ba2+, Mg2+, and Zn2+. Addition of 20 mM Na+ as NaCl or Na2SO4 to the bath caused significant uptake of Na + and efflux of K+. These effects were reversed by adding 1 mM divalent cations to the bath solution, with the relative efficiency Ba 2+>Zn2+=Ca2+>Mg2+. Effect of divalent cations on Na+ efflux was transient, while their application caused a prolonged shift towards K+ uptake. This suggests that, in addition to their known ability to block non-selective cation channels (NSCC) responsible for Na+ entry, divalent cations also control the activity or gating properties of K+ transporters at the mesophyll cell plasma membrane, thereby assisting in maintaining the high K/Na ratio required for optimal leaf photosynthesis. © The Author [2005]. Published by Oxford University Press [on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology]. All rights reserved.


Publication title

Journal of Experimental Botany










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Oxford University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

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Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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