The halophyte Suaeda salsa for saline agriculture

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Suaeda salsa

Using euhalophytes to understand salt tolerance and to develop saline agriculture: Suaeda salsa as a promising model

by Jie Song, Baoshan Wang

in Annals of BotanyVolume 115, Issue 3, Pp. 541-553.

Abstract

Panjin Red Beach, China - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/373095150354722551/
Panjin Red Beach, China – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/373095150354722551/

Background As important components in saline agriculture, halophytes can help to provide food for a growing world population. In addition to being potential crops in their own right, halophytes are also potential sources of salt-resistance genes that might help plant breeders and molecular biologists increase the salt tolerance of conventional crop plants. One especially promising halophyte is Suaeda salsa, a euhalophytic herb that occurs both on inland saline soils and in the intertidal zone.

Red seabeach, located in Dawa County, Panjin, Liaoning, China, is famous for its landscape featuring the red plant of Chenopodiaceae, Suaeda salsa. - http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-z5lHB-8q_9E/U_86YyAhNzI/AAAAAAAABZA/zORtl9N_nKE/s1600/Red%2BSeabeach%2Bin%2Bchina%2Bis%2Bart%2Bderived%2Bfrom%2Bnatural1.jpg
Red seabeach, located in Dawa County, Panjin, Liaoning, China, is famous for its landscape featuring the red plant of Chenopodiaceae, Suaeda salsa. – http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-z5lHB-8q_9E/U_86YyAhNzI/AAAAAAAABZA/zORtl9N_nKE/s1600/Red%2BSeabeach%2Bin%2Bchina%2Bis%2Bart%2Bderived%2Bfrom%2Bnatural1.jpg

The species produces dimorphic seeds: black seeds are sensitive to salinity and remain dormant in light under high salt concentrations, while brown seeds can germinate under high salinity (e.g. 600 mM NaCl) regardless of light. Consequently, the species is useful for studying the mechanisms by which dimorphic seeds are adapted to saline environments. S. salsa has succulent leaves and is highly salt tolerant (e.g. its optimal NaCl concentration for growth is 200 mM). A series of S. salsa genes related to salt tolerance have been cloned and their functions tested: these includeSsNHX1, SsHKT1, SsAPX, SsCAT1, SsP5CS and SsBADH. The species is economically important because its fresh branches have high value as a vegetable, and its seed oil is edible and rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Because it can remove salts and heavy metals from saline soils, S. salsacan also be used in the restoration of salinized or contaminated saline land.

Suaeda salsa - http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-z5lHB-8q_9E/U_86YyAhNzI/AAAAAAAABZA/zORtl9N_nKE/s1600/Red%2BSeabeach%2Bin%2Bchina%2Bis%2Bart%2Bderived%2Bfrom%2Bnatural1.jpg
Suaeda salsa – http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-z5lHB-8q_9E/U_86YyAhNzI/AAAAAAAABZA/zORtl9N_nKE/s1600/Red%2BSeabeach%2Bin%2Bchina%2Bis%2Bart%2Bderived%2Bfrom%2Bnatural1.jpg

Scope Because of its economic and ecological value in saline agriculture,S. salsa is one of the most important halophytes in China. In this review, the value of S. salsa as a source of food, medicine and forage is discussed. Its uses in the restoration of salinized or contaminated land and as a source of salt-resistance genes are also considered.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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