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2 Photosynthetic Functions, Antioxidant Enzymes and Carbohydrate Contents

2 Photosynthetic Functions, Antioxidant Enzymes and Carbohydrate Contents

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Boron Toxicity in Salt-Affected Soils and Effects on Plants


Water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) in stressed plants may have a significant role

in osmotic adjustments (Fayez and Bazaid 2014). When photosynthesis is reduced,

pre-anthesis WSC can contribute significantly to grain yield (Dreccer et al. 2009).

Ruuska et al. (2006) also reported that the WSC gathers in the stems of wheat during growth, can be an important contributor to grain filling, particularly under conditions when assimilates is restricted. Two novel evolving roles have been projected

for fructan component of WSC. First, fructans may add to cellular ROS homeostasis

by direct ROS scavenging mechanisms. Secondly, small fructans may act as phloemmobile signaling compounds in stress (Van den Ende 2013). Such signaling and

antioxidant mechanisms might take part to stress tolerance and disease prevention

(Van den Ende 2013). Kerepesi et al. (1998) investigated the role of WSC in genotypic variances in response to drought and salinity stresses in wheat seedlings. They

found higher accumulation of soluble carbohydrate in tolerant genotypes than the

sensitive ones. The stem fructan content decreased in sensitive genotypes but

increased in tolerant one under NaCl treatment. Amini and Ehsanpour (2005)

reported an increase in total carbohydrates in stem and leaf of cv. Shirazy tomato

with increasing salt concentration in the growth medium, but contents of carbohydrate decreased in cv. Isfahani. The carbohydrate increased in roots when explants

form two cultivars were subjected to the higher rates of salts. Fayez and Bazaid

(2014) also found that salt and water deficit stresses results in a considerable

increase in soluble carbohydrate level of barley leaves. With increasing salt doses,

the rate of increase in soluble carbohydrate content was increased, confirming the

character of soluble carbohydrate in the osmotic regulation. Picchioni and Miyamoto

(1991) reported that concentration root starch and total leaf sugars such as sucrose,

glucose or fructose etc. increased, root glucose concentration reduced and root carbohydrates remained unaffected in Pistacia vera seedlings upon B addition to the

growth medium. Leaf carbohydrate supply limitations and altered contents of root

carbohydrate status might be consequences of toxic B in Pistacia vera leaves.

Choi et al. (2007) reported that sugar transport and utilization metabolism was

severely affected with higher levels of B. The results indicated that enhancement of

sugar contents in the root tips of SloopVic (B tolerant) occurred with the application

of excess B. This accorded with an enhancement in the root elongation rate and with

a 2.7 times increase in sucrose level within mature leaf tissue. A gradual decrease in

contents of reducing sugar was measured in the leaf tissue and root tips of Clipper

(B intolerant) at higher B rates. The variations in total WSC during salinity and high

B stress was attributed to variation in the major soluble carbohydrates such as

sucrose, hexose and fructan components.

In brief, due to the unique role of WSC during stress conditions, more detailed

studies are still needed, to further investigate the composition of WSC in wheat

varieties in collective stresses of salinity and B toxicity. The carbohydrate dynamics, related enzymatic activities and gene expression levels should be followed.

Moreover, the successful breeding for high WSC may be possible for increased and

safe production in wheat.



T. Naz et al.

Conclusion and Future Prospects

Overall, it can be concluded from the above review that salinity and excess B affects

plant growth responses, physiological functions, biochemical processes and ultimately yields in B toxic saline agricultural lands. Their continued increase can be a

risk for crop production, food safety and sustainable agriculture worldwide. The

variation exists in plant species and genotypes for tolerance to salinity, high B and

their combined toxicities. These variations can be exploited to produce higher yields

from salt-affected B toxic soils. The plant species capable of maintain lower concentration of toxic ions in their root and leave, higher photosynthetic rate, higher

scavenging of ROS through enhanced activity of antioxidant enzymes and higher

leaf and root WSC have better survival and yields on salt-affected B toxic soil. Such

tolerant varieties can be used to produce higher yields in combined salinity and high

B stresses and can have significant contribution to food supply for increasing


Amelioration of B-toxic soils is not an easy task under most circumstances and

remediation of salt-affected soils is also not possible due to limitations of availability of good quality irrigation water, high cost of amendments and low soil permeability. Therefore, saline agriculture i.e., the genetic differences among plants

species/genotypes for tolerance to salinity and B toxicity or their combination of

both, can be used as the most feasible approach to provide genetic material for

future wheat breeding programs. It is also a very viable alternative to soil amelioration in order to get economical crops yields from such problematic soils. Thus, the

changeover from soil intrusion to plant adaptation in order to solve an obdurate crop

nutrition constraint signifies an innovative paradigm in agricultural sciences.


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Silicon: A Beneficial Nutrient Under Salt

Stress, Its Uptake Mechanism and Mode

of Action

Waqas-ud-Din Khan, Tariq Aziz, Muhammad Aamer Maqsood, M. Sabir,

Hamaad Raza Ahmad, Pia Muhammad Adnan Ramzani, and M. Naseem







Introduction .......................................................................................................................

Silicon as a Beneficial Nutrient.........................................................................................

Mechanism of Silicon Uptake in Cereals..........................................................................

Silica Distribution in the Mature Cereal Plant ..................................................................

Silicon Mediated Mechanisms Improving Salinity Tolerance ..........................................

5.1 Formation of Phytoliths ...........................................................................................

5.2 Growth and Morphology..........................................................................................

5.3 Physiological and Biochemical ................................................................................

6 Future Prospects/Missing Links........................................................................................

7 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................

References ...............................................................................................................................












Abstract Food security is a serious issue in this era of rapidly growing population.

Food security is threatened due to low crop yields around the world due to different

biotic and abiotic stresses. The arable lands are decreasing due to different soil degradation process and thus prospect for increasing crop yields through extending

areas under cultivation are not very bright. Hence, to achieve the food security on a

sustainable basis, it is necessary to utilize degraded soils productively. Among the

degraded soils, Salt-affected soils share the major fraction and their presence is

prevalent in all continents. The adoption of different management techniques for

productive use of salt-affected soils is thus pre-requisite for enhancing crop yields

on such soils. These management strategies include management of irrigation water,

W.-ud.-D. Khan (*)

Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad,

Faisalabad, Pakistan

Sustainable development study center, Government College University,

Lahore-54000, Pakistan

e-mail: waqas1919@gmail.com

T. Aziz • M.A. Maqsood • M. Sabir • H.R. Ahmad • P.M.A. Ramzani • M. Naseem

Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad,

Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

K.R. Hakeem et al. (eds.), Soil Science: Agricultural and Environmental

Prospectives, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-34451-5_12


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