J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (1): 76-83.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00379.x

• Development & Photosynthesis • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial and Temporal Quantitative Analysis of Cell Division and Elongation Rate in Growing Wheat Leaves Under Saline Conditions

Yuncai Hu and Urs Schmidhalter   

  • Received:2006-06-23 Accepted:2006-08-08

Abstract: Leaf growth in grasses is determined by the cell division and elongation rates, with the duration of cell elongation being one of the processes that is the most sensitive to salinity. Our objective was to investigate the distribution profiles of cell production, cell length and the duration of cell elongation in the growing zone of the wheat leaf during the steady growth phase. Plants were grown in loamy soil with or without 120 mmol/L NaCl in a growth chamber, and harvested at day 3 after leaf 4 emerged. Results show that the elongation rate of leaf 4 was reduced by 120 mmol/L NaCl during the steady growth phase. The distribution profile of the lengths of abaxial epidermal cells of leaf 4 during the steady growth stage shows a sigmoidal pattern along the leaf axis for both treatments. Although salinity did not affect or even increased the length of the epidermal cells in some locations in the growth zone compared to the control treatment, the final length of the epidermal cells was reduced by 14% at 120 mmol/L NaCl. Thus, we concluded that the observed reduction in the leaf elongation rate derived in part from the reduced cell division rate and either the shortened cell elongation zone or shortened duration of cell elongation. This suggests that more attention should be paid to the effects of salinity on those properties of cell production and the period of cell maturation that are related to the properties of cell wall.

Key words: cell production, epidermal cell length, growth zone, relative elemental growth rate, salinity, wheat.

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