Two morphological forms of wormwood Artemisia lerchiana (f. erecta and f. nutans) and A. pauciflora Web. (morphological form erecta) were grown on sand culture at a range of NaCl concentrations in the nutrient medium and then assayed for Na+, K+, and Cl− content in various organs. In addition, the content of mono-, di-, and trisaccharides and multiatomic alcohols (mannitol and glycerol); water content; and organ biomass were determined. All plants examined showed high NaCl tolerance, comparable to that of halophytes. They were able to maintain high tissue hydration under conditions of salinity-induced growth suppression. The intracellular osmotic pressure in wormwood organs was mainly determined by the presence of Na+, K+, and Cl−, as well as by mono-, di-, and trisaccharides, mannitol, and glycerol. The high content of Na+ and Cl− in wormwood organs was also observed in the absence of salinity, which implies the ability of these organs to absorb ions from diluted NaCl solutions and accumulate ions in cells of their tissues. With the increase in salinity, the content of Na+ and Cl− in roots and leaves increased to even higher levels. It is concluded that the ability of wormwood plants to absorb and accumulate inorganic ions provides for sustainable high intracellular osmotic pressure and, accordingly, low water potential under drought and salinity conditions. Growing plants under high salinity lowered the content of monosaccharides in parallel with accumulation of the trisaccharide raffinose. It is supposed that soluble carbohydrates and multiatomic alcohols are not only significant for osmoregulation but also perform a protective function in wormwood plants. The lower osmotic pressure in root cells compared to that in leaf cells of all plants examined was mainly due to the gradient distribution of K+ and Cl− between roots and leaves. The two Artemisia species and two morphological forms of A. lerchiana did not differ appreciably in the ways of water balance regulation. It is found that different morphologies of two A. lerchiana forms are unrelated to variations in intracellular osmotic and turgor pressures.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 31, 2009
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