Effects of Salinity Concentrations on Arabidopsis Functional Traits

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Najia, Mohamad Ali Toufic
Gormally, Dr. Cara
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Excessive soluble salts in the soil are harmful to most plants. In fact, no toxic substance restricts plant growth more than salt does on a world scale. Understanding the mechanisms of plant salt tolerance will lead to effective means to breed or genetically engineer salt tolerant crops. Salt tolerance research also represents an important part of basic plant biology, contributing to our understanding of subjects ranging from gene regulation to ion transport, osmoregulation and mineral nutrition. Using a survey of published literature, we asked whether salinity mitigates a functional response, examined the form of responses, and surveyed the evidence for saline effect on functional traits. Our primary goal was to seek general patterns of saline effects on Arabidopsis for broad categories of functional traits. This research review is aimed at answering these general questions: 1) Does salinity affect phenotypic expression? 2) How does salinity affect reproductive fitness? 3) Can salt inhibit germination? 4) Whether saline disrupts ion transport through root structures? 5) Is there variation in salinity tolerance among the ecotypes? We surveyed nine peer-reviewed journals from 1999 to 2010 and organized the articles we found (12) into categories that best answered one of our five questions. Our overall findings suggest that saline does have a pertinent effect on Arabidopsis and we go into further detail, in regards to the answers to our questions. Ultimately, this review is significant because we show that Arabidopsis is adaptive to increase its salt tolerance. Also, these results can beneficially impact the agricultural sector in increasing crop yields or vegetative output.
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