, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 87–94 | Cite as

Responses of salt-tolerant and intolerant wheat genotypes to sodium chloride: Photosynthesis, antioxidants activities, and yield

  • Y. H. Zheng
  • X. B. Xu
  • M. Y. Wang
  • X. H. Zheng
  • Z. J. Li
  • G. M. Jiang
Original Papers


Physiological responses of two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes (salt-tolerant DK961 and salt-sensitive JN17) to increased salt concentrations (50, 100, 150 mM NaCl: NaCl50, NaCl100, NaCl150) were studied. Photosynthetic capacity, irradiance response curves, contents of soluble sugars, proteins, and chlorophyll (Chl), K+/Na+ ratio, and activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and catalase) in flag leaves were measured on 7 d after anthesis. In control (NaCl0) plants, non-significant (p>0.05) differences were found in gas exchange and saturation irradiance (SI) between salt-tolerant (ST) and salt-sensitive (SS) wheat genotypes. However, we found higher soluble sugar and protein contents, K+/Na+ ratio, and antioxidant enzyme activities, but lower Chl content and yield in ST wheat. Salinity stresses remarkably increased soluble sugar and protein contents and the antioxidant activities, but decreased K+/Na+ ratio, Chl contents, SI, photosynthetic capacities, and yield, the extent being considerably larger in JN17 than DK961. Although the soluble sugar and protein contents and the antioxidant activities of JN17 elevated more evidently under salt stresses, those variables never reached the high levels of DK961. The antioxidant enzyme activities of SS wheat increased in NaCl50 and NaCl100, but decreased rapidly when the NaCl concentration reached 150 mM. Thus the ST wheat could maintain higher grain yield than the SS one by remaining higher osmoregulation and antioxidative abilities, which led to higher photosynthetic capacity. Hence the ST wheat could harmonize the relationship between CO2 assimilation (source) and the grain yield (sink) under the experimental conditions.

Additional key words

catalase genotype differences peroxidase reproductive stage salinity stress salt tolerance stomatal conductance superoxide dismutase Triticum aestivum yield 



catalase (EC






fresh mass


stomatal conductance


leaf area index


photosynthetically active radiation


net photosynthetic rate


peroxidase (EC


relative humidity


reactive oxygen species


relative water content


saturation irradiance


superoxide dismutase (EC


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. H. Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • X. B. Xu
    • 4
  • M. Y. Wang
    • 3
  • X. H. Zheng
    • 4
  • Z. J. Li
    • 2
  • G. M. Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botanythe Chinese Academy of SciencesXiangshan, BeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Crop BiologyShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianChina
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyDezhou UniversityDezhouChina
  4. 4.Dezhou Academy of Agricultural ScienceDezhouChina

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