Osmolyte accumulation in leaves of Tamarix ramosissima growing under various soil conditions in the Colorado River basin

Fumiko Iwanaga, Kumud Acharya, Shogo Imada, Takeshi Taniguchi, Yukio Kawamura, Kiyoshi Tanaka, Nobuhiro Mori, Fukuju Yamamoto, Norikazu Yamanaka

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Tamarixramosissima is a dominant species in desert riparian ecosystems in the western USA. It is a phreatophytic halophyte, with salt glands on the leaves. While osmoregulation is essential for turgor maintenance under high salinity, the dose–response relationship to salinity of various osmolytes in plants with salt glands is still unknown. We profiled crude leaf extracts of T. ramosissima to identify the metabolic compounds that contribute to its salt tolerance. We compared leaf cation, soluble sugar, amino acid, and betaine content among T. ramosissima samples from five points along the Colorado River. The leaf sodium content of T. ramosissima trees increased with increasing soil salinity. Under high salinity conditions, soluble sugar and betaine content did not increase, but amino acids did. The increase in proline accumulation was highly and positively correlated with leaf sodium content. Thus, proline appears to be the essential osmolyte that T. ramosissima accumulates in response to severe salt stress in desert riparian areas of the USA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalLandscape and Ecological Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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