Analysis of salt-induced physiological and proline changes in 46 switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) lines indicates multiple response modes

Plant Physiology and Biochemistry : PPB
Jeongwoon KimKevin L Childs


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is targeted as a biofuel feedstock species that may be grown on marginal lands including those with saline soils. Our study investigated salt stress responses in 46 switchgrass lines from the lowland and upland ecotypes by assessing physiological phenotypes and proline concentrations. Lowland switchgrass lines demonstrated less severe responses to salt stress than most upland switchgrass lines, but a number of upland lines performed as well as lowland individuals. Photosynthetic rate (Pn), the most important physiological trait measured, was reduced by salt treatment in all lines. Tolerant lines showed ∼50% reduction in Pn under salt stress, and sensitive lines exhibited ∼90% reduction in Pn after salt stress. Proline analysis showed the largest amount of variation under salt stress with some lines exhibiting minor increases in proline, but some salt-sensitive lines demonstrated more than 5000-fold increase in proline concentration in response to salt treatment. Clustering of salt-stress phenotypic responses revealed five groups of switchgrass. Lowland lines were present in two of the phenotypic clusters, but upland lines were found in all five of the phenotypic clusters. These results suggest tha...Continue Reading


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