Sodium chloride accumulation in glycophyte plants with cyanobacterial symbionts

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This article reports an apparently novel and taxonomically diverse grouping of plants that continuously maintain high tissue sodium contents and share the rare feature of possessing symbiotic cyanobacteria.

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9 p.

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Green, T. G. Allan; Sancho, Leopoldo G.; Pintado, Ana; Saco, Dolores; Martín, Soledad; Arróniz-Crespo, María et al. October 11, 2017.

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This article reports an apparently novel and taxonomically diverse grouping of plants that continuously maintain high tissue sodium contents and share the rare feature of possessing symbiotic cyanobacteria.

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9 p.

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Abstract: The majority of plant species are glycophytes and are not salt-tolerant and maintain low sodium
levels within their tissues; if. high tissue sodium concentrations do occur, it is in response to elevated environmental
salt levels. Here we report an apparently novel and taxonomically diverse grouping of plants that continuously
maintain high tissue sodium contents and share the rare feature of possessing symbiotic cyanobacteria. Leaves
of Gunnera magellanica in Tierra del Fuego always had sodium contents (dry weight basis) of around 4.26 g kg−1,
about 20 times greater than measured in other higher plants in the community (0.29 g kg−1). Potassium and chloride
levels were also elevated. This was not a response to soil sodium and chloride levels as these were low at all
sites. High sodium contents were also confirmed in G. magellanica from several other sites in Tierra del Fuego, in
plants taken to, and cultivated in Madrid for 2 years at low soil salt conditions, and also in other free living or cultivated
species of Gunnera from the UK and New Zealand. Gunnera species are the only angiosperms that possess
cyanobacterial symbionts so we analysed other plants that have this rather rare symbiosis, all being glycophytes.
Samples of Azolla, a floating aquatic fern, from Europe and New Zealand all had even higher sodium levels than
Gunnera. Roots of the gymnosperm Cycas revoluta had lower sodium contents (2.52 ± 0.34 g kg−1) but still higher
than the non-symbiotic glycophytes. The overaccumulation of salt even when it is at low levels in the environment
appears to be linked to the possession of a cyanobacterial symbiosis although the actual functional basis
is unclear.

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  • AoB PLANTS, 2017. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press

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  • Publication Title: AoB PLANTS
  • Volume: 9
  • Pages: 1-9
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

Materials from the UNT community's research, creative, and scholarly activities and UNT's Open Access Repository. Access to some items in this collection may be restricted.

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  • January 26, 2017

Accepted Date

  • October 5, 2017

Creation Date

  • October 11, 2017

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Jan. 23, 2018, 5:28 a.m.

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Green, T. G. Allan; Sancho, Leopoldo G.; Pintado, Ana; Saco, Dolores; Martín, Soledad; Arróniz-Crespo, María et al. Sodium chloride accumulation in glycophyte plants with cyanobacterial symbionts, article, October 11, 2017; Oxford, England. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1062080/: accessed January 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.