Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2754

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of salinity on transmembrane potential of the roots of Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L.

B. Moseki
  • B. Moseki
  • Department of Biological Sciences, University of Botswana, Private Bag UB 00704, Gaborone, Botswana.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 29 July 2014
  •  Accepted: 29 January 2016
  •  Published: 15 May 2017


Halophytes are plants that complete their life cycle in saline environments. Halophytes can therefore be viewed as potential gene sources for genetic manipulation of economically important crop plants.  In this study the influence of salinity on potential difference (PD) and surface pH of root cortical cells was investigated. The effect of the metabolic inhibitor, potassium cyanide (KCN), on PD of the root cells was also investigated. A study of the electrophysiological characteristics of the membrane of the root cortical cells showed that there were two components to the root cell PD. One component (diffusional) was affected by the increasing NaCl concentration in the growth medium, while the other component (electrogenic) remained unaffected by the NaCl concentration up to 200 mol m-3. There is evidence to suggest that this electrogenic component of the PD was maintained by an efflux pump which presumably controls ion uptake and indirectly growth. It is concluded that this electrogenic efflux pump is a major factor contributing to salt tolerance in Sesuvium portulacastrum.


Key words: Electrogenic pumps, halophyte, membrane potential difference, salinity, Sesuvium portulacastrum.