Acta Scientific Agriculture (ASAG)(ISSN: 2581-365X)

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 7

The Arsenal of Morphological and Physiological Mechanisms Adopted by Barley (Hordeum vulgare. L) to Face Salt Stress Damage

Zied Hammami1*, Nawel Ahmed2, Nejia Ben Hmida2, Soumaya Tounsi2, Sawsen Ayadi2 and Youssef Trifa2

1Crop Diversification and Genetics Section, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai, UAE
2Laboratory of Genetics and Cereal Breeding, National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia, Carthage University, Tunis, Tunisia

*Corresponding Author: Zied Hammami, Crop Diversification and Genetics Section, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai, UAE.

Received: April 16, 2020; Published: June 29, 2020



 The success of programmes improving barley performance under abiotic stress must go through an understanding of mechanisms developed by the plant to counteract this stress. Our study fits into this framework. It aims to evaluate six barley genotypes from the MENA region, treated with two salinity levels: 1.2 and 14 dS/m. Three genotypes are salt-tolerant, and three are sensitive. They were grown under a controlled environment and in 40L PVC tubes using sand and perlite as substrate. The evaluation was based on 15 morpho-physiological parameters related to water, ion content, temperature, and chlorophyll fluorescence. The results confirm the existence of genetic variability for salt tolerance. Two Tunisian landraces ‘Suihli’ and ‘Ardhaoui’ and Omanis landraces ‘Batini 100/1B’ were not affected. Conversely, ‘ICARDA20’ and ‘Barley Mednine’ appeared to be sensitive to salt stress with a maximum reduction of 35% for improved genotype ‘Konous’. Results also show that salt tolerance in barley cannot be exclusively attributed to a single mechanism. All studied parameters significantly (p < 0.001) contributed to it. However, Stepwise regression revealed that plant water status expected by RWC is the key for salinity tolerance as well as a positive effect of K+ content, Fm/Fv, and leaf Temperature on proper water status. The results highlight the effeteness of one visual trait, the salinity damage index (DI), to estimate barley tolerance. Indeed, a strong correlation was observed between DI and the biomass reduction (P < 0.001, r2=0.96). In addition, correlation analyses showed that all parameters were inversely correlated with the DI.

Keywords: Salinity; Barley; Morpho-Physiological Parameters Traits; Tolerance; Damage Index



  1. Maas EV. “Salt tolerance of plants”. Applied Agricultural Research 1 (1986): 12-26.
  2. El Felah M and Medimagh S. “Food Barley in Tunisia”. In Food Barley: Importance, Uses and Local Knowledge Grando S and Gomez MH. (Editions). “International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Aleppo (2005): 29-35.
  3. “General Direction of Agriculture Production”. Ministry of Agriculture and Hydraulics Resources, Tunisia (2015).
  4. Chalak L., et al. “Performance of 50 Lebanese barley landraces (Hordeum vulgare subsp. vulgare) in two locations under rainfed conditions”. Annals of Agricultural Sciences 60 (2015): 325-334.
  5. Bodner G., et al. “Management of crop water under drought: a review”. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35 (2016): 401-442.
  6. Z Hammami., et al. “Predicting yield reduction in improved barley (Hordeum vulgare) varieties and landraces under salinity using selected tolerance traits”. Field Crops Research 211 (2017): 10-18.
  7. Wu H., et al. “Linking salinity tolerance with tissue-specific Na+ sequestration in wheat roots”. Frontiers in Plant Science 6 (2015a): 71.
  8. Munns R and Tester M. “Mechanism of salinity tolerance”. Annual Review of Plant Biology 59 (2008): 651-681.
  9. Shabala S and Pottosin I. “Regulation of potassium transport in plants under hostile conditions: implications for abiotic and biotic stress tolerance”. Physiologia Plantarum 151 (2014): 257-279.
  10. Demidchik V., et al. “Stress-induced electrolyte leakage: the role of K+ permeable channels and involvement in programmed cell death and metabolic adjustment”. Journal of Experimental Botany 65 (2014): 1259-1270.
  11. Maathuis FFJM., et al. “Regulation of Na+ fluxes in plants”. Frontiers in Plant Science 5 (2014): 467.
  12. Deinlein U., et al. “Plant salt-tolerance mechanisms”. Trends in Plant Science 6 (2014): 371-379.
  13. Cramer GR and Läuchli A. “Ion activities in solution in relation to Na+-Ca2+ interactions at the plasmalemma”. Journal of Experimental Botany 37 (1986): 321-330.
  14. Jones HG., et al. “Thermal infrared imaging of crop canopies for the remote diagnosis and quantification of plant responses to water stress in the field”. Functional Plant Biology10-11 (2009): 978-989.
  15. Papageorgiou G and Govindjee. “Chlorophyll a fluorescence: a signature of photosynthesis”. Springer, Ordrecht (2010): 1-42.
  16. Wang G., et al. “Effects of salinity stress on the photosynthesis of Wolffia arrhiza as probed by the ojip test”. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin (2011): 20.
  17. Roy SJ., et al. “Salt resistant crop plants”. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 26 (2014): 115-124.
  18. Hu YO., et al. “Diversity of pico-to mesoplankton along the 2000 km salinity gradient of the Baltic Sea”. Frontiers in Microbiology 7 (2016): 679.
  19. Tester M and Davenport R. “Na+ tolerance and Na+ transport in higher plants”. Annals of Botany 91 (2003): 503-507.
  20. Torrecillas A., et al. “Rapid determination of leaf Clorofila in discos limonero”. Fruits 39 (1984): 617-622.
  21. Arnon DI. “Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts, polyphenoxidase in beta vulgaris”. Plant Physiology 24 (1949): 1-15.
  22. Pauwels JM., et al. “Manuel de laboratoire de pédologie: Méthodes d’analyses des sols et des plantes”. Publications Agricole, France (1992): 28.
  23. Gonzalez L and Gonzalez-Vilar M. “Determination of relative water content”. In: Reigosa, M.J. (Ed.), Handbook of Plant Ecophysiology Techniques. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2001): 207-212.
  24. Zhou Y., et al. “MICAL-1 is a negative regulator of MST-NDR kinase signaling and apoptosis”. Molecular and Cellular Biology 31 (2011): 3603-3615.
  25. Wu H., et al. “Durum and bread wheat differ in their ability to retain potassium in leaf mesophyll: implications for salinity stress tolerance”. Plant and Cell Physiology 55 (2014): 1749-1762.
  26. Jiang Q., et al. “Gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and carbon isotope discrimination of 14 barley genetic lines in response to salinity”. Field Crops Research 96 (2006): 269-278.
  27. Chunthaburee S., et al. “Physiological and biochemical parameters for evaluation and clustering of rice cultivars differing in salt tolerance at seedling stage”. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences (2015).
  28. Negrao S., et al. “Evaluating physiological responses of plants to salinity stress”. Annals of Botany 119 (2017): 1-11.
  29. Boyer JS., et al. “Osmotic adjustment leads to anomalously low estimates of relative water content in wheat and barley”. Functional Plant Biology 35 (2008): 1172-1182.
  30. Song J., et al. “Strategies for Adaptation of Suaeda physophora, Haloxylon ammodendron and Haloxylon persicum to a Saline Environment During Seed-Germination Stage”. Annals of Botany 96 (2005): 399-405.
  31. Munns R., et al. “New phenotyping methods for screening wheat and barley for beneficial responses to water deficit”. Journal of Experimental Botany 61 (2010): 3499-3507.
  32. Sirault XRR., et al. “A new screening method for osmotic component of salinity tolerance in cereals using infrared thermography”. Functional Plant Biology 36 (2009): 970-977.
  33. Wu H., et al. “Ability of leaf mesophyll to retain potassium correlates with salinity tolerance in wheat and barley”. Physiologia Plantarum 149 (2013): 515-527.
  34. Bose J., et al. “Kinetics of xylem loading, membrane potential maintenance, and sensitivity of K + -permeable channels to reactive oxygen species: physiological traits that differentiate salinity tolerance between pea and barley”. Plant, Cell and Environment 37 (2014): 589-600.
  35. Chen Z., et al. “Screening plants for salt tolerance by measuring K+ flux: a case study for barley”. Plant, Cell and Environment 28 (2005): 1230-1246.
  36. Chen Z., et al. “Potassium and sodium relations in salinised barley tissues as a basis of differential salt tolerance”. Functional Plant Biology 34 (2007): 150-162.
  37. Wu Honghong. “Plant salt tolerance and Na+ sensing and transport”. The Crop Journal 6 (2018): 215-225.
  38. Wu H., et al. “K+ retention in leaf mesophyll, an overlooked component of salinity tolerance mechanism: a case study for barley”. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2 (2015): 171-185.
  39. Kalaji HM., et al. “Effects of salt stress on photosystem II efficiency and CO2 assimilation of two Syrian barley landraces”. Environmental and Experimental Botany 73 (2011): 64-72.
  40. Shah SH., et al. “Response of Chlorophyll, Carotenoid and SPAD-502 Measurement to Salinity and Nutrient Stress in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)”. Agronomy 7 (2017): 61.
  41. Cheikh MH., et al. “Evaluation de la tolérance au stress salin de quelques accessions d’orge (Hordum Vulgare L.) cultivées en Tunisie approche physiologique”. Science and Technology 28 (2008): 30-37.
  42. Alem C., et al. “Adaptations hydrique et photosynthétique du blé dur et du blé tendre au stress salin. C. R”. Biologies 325 (2002): 1097-1109.
  43. Ottow E., et al. Populus euphratica Displays Apoplastic Sodium Accumulation, Osmotic Adjustment by Decreases in Calcium and Soluble Carbohydrates, and Develops (2005).
  44. Kamboj A., et al. “Identification of salt-tolerant barley varieties by a consolidated physiological and molecular approach”. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 37 (2015): 1716.
  45. Kadri karim., et al. “Etude du comportement morpho- physiologique et agronomique vis-à-vis la tolérance à la salinité chez des accessions d’orges (Hordeum vulgare) cultivées dans un écosystème oasien”. Revue des Régions Arides - Numéro Spécial 35 (2014)
  46. Sbei H., et al. “Phenotypic diversity analysis for salt tolerance of Tunisian barley populations (Hordeum vulgare)”. Journal of Arid Land Studies 21 (2012): 54-58.
  47. Hammami Z., et al. “Evaluation of performance of different barley genotypes irrigated with saline water in South Tunisian Saharan conditions”. Environmental and Experimental Biology ISSN (2016): 2255-9582.
  48. Jaradat AA., et al. “Genetic diversity in the Batini barley landrace from Oman: Spike and seed quantitative and qualitative traits”. Crop Science 44 (2004): 304-315.
  49. Al-Dakheel., et al. “Evaluation of Batini barley landraces from Oman and breeding lines under various irrigation salinity levels”. Agricultural Science Research Journal1 (2012): 42-50.


Citation: Zied Hammami., et al. “The Arsenal of Morphological and Physiological Mechanisms Adopted by Barley (Hordeum vulgare. L) to Face Salt Stress Damage". Acta Scientific Agriculture 4.7 (2020): 92-101.


Acceptance rate32%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days
Impact Factor1.014

Indexed In

News and Events

  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is May 20, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US