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Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
Volume 156, 2020, Pages 64-77

Salinity induced physiological and biochemical changes in plants: An omic approach towards salt stress tolerance

Yamshi Arifa, Priyanka Singha, Husna Siddiquia, Andrzej Bajguzb, Shamsul Hayata

Aligarh Muslim University, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Botany, Plant Physiology Section, Aligarh, 202002, India.


Salinity is one of the major threats to sustainable agriculture that globally decreases plant production by impairing various physiological, biochemical, and molecular function. In particular, salinity hampers germination, growth, photosynthesis, transpiration, and stomatal conductance. Salinity decreases leaf water potential and turgor pressure and generates osmotic stress. Salinity enhances reactive oxygen species (ROS) content in the plant cell as a result of ion toxicity and disturbs ion homeostasis. Thus, it imbalances nutrient uptake, disintegrates membrane, and various ultrastructure. Consequently, salinity leads to osmotic and ionic stress. Plants respond to salinity by modulating various morpho-physiological, anatomical, and biochemical traits by regulating ion homeostasis and compartmentalization, antioxidant machinery, and biosynthesis of osmoprotectants and phytohormones, i. e, auxins, abscisic acid, brassinosteroids, cytokinins, ethylene, gibberellins, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and polyamines. Thus, this further modulates plant osmoticum, decreases ion toxicity, and scavenges ROS. Plants upregulate various genes and proteins that participate in salinity tolerance. They also promote the production of various phytohormones and metabolites that mitigate the toxic effect of salinity. Based on recent papers, the deleterious effect of salinity on plant physiology is discussed. Furthermore, it evaluates the physiological and biochemical responses of the plant to salinity along with phytohormone response. This review paper also highlights omics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) approach to understand salt stress tolerance.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Ion homeostasis; Genomics; Germination; Metabolomics; Phytohormones; Proteomics; Transcriptomics.

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