We examined the effects of salinity on four wild (Phaseolus angustissimus, Phaseolus filiformis, P. microcarpus, and P. vulgaris) and two cultivated (P. acutifolius and P. vulgaris L.) Phaseolus species. Relative growth rate (RGR, g g-1 per day), unit leaf rate (ULR, g m-2 per day), leaf area ratio (LAR, m2 g-1), specific leaf area (SLA, m2 g-1), leaf weight ratio (LWR, g leaf g-1), and rate of ion uptake were calculated for the period between 10 and 20 days after planting. Salinity significantly reduced RGR, ULR, LAR, and SLA whereas LWR showed no definite trend. In all species, except in P. filiformis, ULR, but not LAR, was significantly correlated with RGR, indicating that ULR was an important factor underlying the salinity-induced differences in RGR among species. In P. filiformis, high salinity reduced SLA, and consequently LAR. The significant correlation of SLA and LAR with RGR suggested that growth components affecting leaf area expansion were the primary factors explaining the inhibition of growth in this species. Increasing salinity progressively decreased leaf water vapor conductance. The rate of CO2 assimilation decreased gradually with salinity, showing significant reductions only at the highest salt level (80 mM NaCl). Approximately two-thirds of the reduction in CO2 assimilation rate at high salinity was attributable to reduced stomatal conductance. In P. filiformis, however, neither stomatal conductance nor CO2 assimilation were affected by salt stress. Leaf water and osmotic potentials declined significantly as stress intensified. However, osmotic adjustment permitted the maintenance of positive turgor throughout the growth period. Salinity had a significant effect on tissue concentrations of Na+, K+, Ca2+, and Cl- and on the uptake rate of Na+, K+, Ca2+, and Cl-. Thus, in addition to the toxic effects of high concentrations of Na+ and Cl- in plant tissue, saline-induced changes in mineral nutrient uptake likely contributed to the reduction of plant growth. It appears that salt tolerance in P. filiformis is associated with Na+ exclusion and organ Na+ compartmentation in roots and stems as well as sustained K+ concentration in leaves and better stomatal control through osmotic adjustment. All other Phaseolus species are Na+ excluders, and maintained turgor-driven extension growth by accumulating Cl- (osmotic adjustment), but subsequent weight gain reductions suggest that this led to ion toxicity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Soil Science