The effects of nonsaline polyethylene glycol (PEG)-6000 and saline seawater solutions of comparable osmotic potential on the concentrations of organic solutes and inorganic ions in the tissues of halophytes ( Plantago maritima L., Triglochin maritima L., Limonium vulgare Mill., Halimione portulacoides (L.) Aell ) have been investigated. Studies were made to determine whether high salinities induce specific ion effects that are absent in plants grown in nonsaline solutions of comparable osmotic potential. Over-all, the responses of each species to the two different treatments (seawater or PEG) are similar; the accumulation of organic solutes (compatible osmotica) in tissues is primarily correlated with a decrease in the osmotic potential of culture solutions. Depending on the species, sorbitol, proline, reducing sugars, quaternary ammonium compounds, and α-amino nitrogen accumulate in tissues as the water potential of the tissues falls. Within a species there are differences in the concentrations of inorganic ions and organic solutes between roots and shoots of plants grown at high salinities or at high concentrations of PEG.
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