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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2017, Vol. 16 Issue (08): 1800-1807    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61522-8
Animal Science · Veterinary Medicine Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Effects of neutral salt and alkali on ion distributions in the roots, shoots, and leaves of two alfalfa cultivars with differing degrees of salt tolerance
WANG Xiao-shan1*, REN Hai-long1*, WEI Zen-wu1, WANG Yun-wen3, REN Wei-bo2
1 Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, P.R.China
2 Institute of Grassland Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hohhot 010000, P.R.China
3 Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
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Abstract     The effects of neutral salt and alkali on the ion distribution were investigated in two alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars, including Zhongmu 1, a high salt-tolerant cultivar, and Algonquin, a low salt-tolerant cultivar. The alkali stress expressed more serious growth inhibition than the neutral salt stress at the same Na+ concentration. Compared with Algonquin, Zhongmu 1 did not exhibit a higher alkali tolerance under the Na2CO3-NaHCO3 treatment with the low Na+ concentration (50 mmol L–1). The alkali increased the accumulation of Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ in the root and changed the Ca2+ and Mg2+ balance in the entire alfalfa plant. The salt and alkali stresses decreased the K+ and Fe3+ contents of the roots and leaves, the root Mn2+ content, and the shoot Zn2+ content, but they increased the Fe3+ accumulation of the shoots, the shoot and leaf Cu2+ contents, and the leaf Zn2+ content in both alfalfa cultivars. Based on the results obtained under the conditions of this experiment, we found that the salt and alkali stresses reduced the plant growth in both alfalfa cultivars, while the alkali caused a stronger stress than the neutral salt in alfalfa. Thus, we conclude that under hydroponic conditions, the deleterious effects of the alkali on plants are due to the distribution change of some trophic ion balance in the roots, shoots, and leaves of the plants by causing of Na+, CO32–, and/or HCO3 stresses.
Keywords:  alfalfa        ion distribution        neutral salts        alkali        stress  
Received: 06 June 2016   Accepted:

This study was supported financially by the Open Project of the National Key Laboratory for Grassland Agro-ecosytems hosted at Lanzhou University, China, and the construction project of Key Discipline of Jiangsu Province for grass science, China.

Corresponding Authors:  WANG Xiao-shan, Tel: +86-514-87979037, E-mail: wanggrass@   
About author:  WANG Xiao-shan, Tel: +86-514-87979037, E-mail: wanggrass@,

Cite this article: 

WANG Xiao-shan, REN Hai-long, WEI Zen-wu, WANG Yun-wen, REN Wei-bo . 2017. Effects of neutral salt and alkali on ion distributions in the roots, shoots, and leaves of two alfalfa cultivars with differing degrees of salt tolerance. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 16(08): 1800-1807.

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