J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (7): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1672-9072.2007.00455.x

Special Issue: Abiotic Stresses

• Stress & Phytochemistry •    

Effect of Salinity on the Composition, Number and Size of Epidermal Cells along the Mature Blade of Wheat Leaves

Yuncai Hu and Urs Schmidhalter   

Abstract: Salinity inhibits leaf growth in association with changes in cell size. The objective of this study was to determine the spatial distributions of the composition, number and dimensions of epidermal cells in the mature blades of leaf four of wheat seedlings under saline conditions. Plants were grown in loamy soil either with or without 120 mmol/L NaCl in a growth chamber, and harvested after leaf four was fully developed. The results of the spatial distribution analyses of width along the blade showed that salinity not only reduced the width of the leaf blade, but that it also altered the distribution pattern of blade width along the leaf axis. The reduction in the final size of the leaf blade was associated with a reduction in the total number of epidermal cells and in their widths and lengths. This study also revealed the spatial effects of salinity on the blade and epidermal cell dimensions along the leaf axis. In particular, salinity inhibited the total cell number for interstomatal, sister and elongated cells, implying that cell division in wheat leaves is inhibited by salinity. However, the lengths of interstomatal cells were not affected by salinity (unlike those for the sister and elongated cells), suggesting the relative contributions of cell length and numbers to the reduction in the final length of the blade under salinity is dependent on cell type.

Key words: cell length, cell number, leaf epidermis, salinity, wheat

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