Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 391–404 | Cite as

Phytohormones and plant responses to salinity stress: a review

  • Shah Fahad
  • Saddam Hussain
  • Amar Matloob
  • Faheem Ahmed Khan
  • Abdul Khaliq
  • Shah Saud
  • Shah Hassan
  • Darakh Shan
  • Fahad Khan
  • Najeeb Ullah
  • Muhammad Faiq
  • Muhammad Rafiullah Khan
  • Afrasiab Khan Tareen
  • Aziz Khan
  • Abid Ullah
  • Nasr Ullah
  • Jianliang Huang
Review Paper


Plants are exposed to a variety of abiotic stresses in nature and exhibit unique and complex responses to these stresses depending on their degree of plasticity involving many morphological, cellular, anatomical, and physiological changes. Phytohormones are known to play vital roles in the ability of plants to acclimatize to varying environments, by mediating growth, development, source/sink transitions and nutrient allocation. These signal molecules are produced within the plant, and also referred as plant growth regulators. Although plant response to salinity depends on several factors; nevertheless, phytohormones are thought to be the most important endogenous substances that are critical in modulating physiological responses that eventually lead to adaptation to salinity. Response usually involves fluctuations in the levels of several phytohormones, which relates with changes in expression of genes involved in their biosynthesis and the responses they regulate. Present review described the potential role of different phytohormones and their balances against salinity stress and summarized the research progress regarding plant responses towards salinity at physiological and molecular levels. We emphasized the role of abscisic acid, indole acetic acid, cytokinins, gibberellic acid, salicylic acid, brassinosteroids, jasmonates, ethylene and triazoles in mediating plant responses and discussed their crosstalk at various baseline pathways transduced by these phytohormones under salinity. Current progress is exemplified by the identification and validation of several significant genes that enhanced crops tolerance to salinity, while missing links on different aspects of phytohormone related salinity tolerance are pointed out. Deciphering mechanisms by which plant perceives salinity and trigger the signal transduction cascades via phytohormones is vital to devise salinity related breeding and transgenic approaches.


Abiotic stress Climate change Plant growth regulators Phytohormones Salinity Stress tolerance 



We thank the funding provided by the Key Technology Program R&D of China (Project No. 2012BAD04B12) and MOA Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest of China (No. 201103003).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shah Fahad
    • 1
  • Saddam Hussain
    • 1
  • Amar Matloob
    • 2
  • Faheem Ahmed Khan
    • 3
  • Abdul Khaliq
    • 2
  • Shah Saud
    • 4
  • Shah Hassan
    • 5
  • Darakh Shan
    • 6
  • Fahad Khan
    • 1
  • Najeeb Ullah
    • 7
  • Muhammad Faiq
    • 8
  • Muhammad Rafiullah Khan
    • 8
  • Afrasiab Khan Tareen
    • 8
  • Aziz Khan
    • 1
  • Abid Ullah
    • 1
  • Nasr Ullah
    • 9
  • Jianliang Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, MOA Key Laboratory of Crop Ecophysiology and Farming System in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, College of Plant Science and TechnologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and ReproductionHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  4. 4.Department of HorticulturalNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  5. 5.Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural UniversityPeshawarPakistan
  6. 6.Women Institute of LearningAbbottabadPakistan
  7. 7.Department of Plant and Food SciencesThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  8. 8.Kasetsart UniversityBangkokThailand
  9. 9.Department of Plant Biology and EcologyNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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