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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 213401, 15 pages
Research Article

Rhizomes Help the Forage Grass Leymus chinensis to Adapt to the Salt and Alkali Stresses

1Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
2Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology of Ministry of Education, Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin Province 130024, China
3Alkali Soil Natural Environmental Science Center, Northeast Forestry University Key Laboratory of Saline-alkali Vegetation Ecology Restoration in Oil Field, Ministry of Education, Harbin 150040, China
4Key Laboratory of Songliao Aquatic Environment, Ministry of Education, Jilin Jianzhu University, Changchun 130118, China

Received 23 January 2014; Accepted 18 June 2014; Published 13 July 2014

Academic Editor: Antonio Ferrante

Copyright © 2014 Xiaoyu Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Leymus chinensis has extensive ecological adaptability and can grow well in saline-alkaline soils. The knowledge about tolerance mechanisms of L. chinensis could be base for utilization of saline-alkaline soils and grassland restoration and rebuilding. Two neutral salts (NaCl : Na2SO4 = 9 : 1) and two alkaline salts (NaHCO3 : Na2CO3 = 9 : 1) with concentration of 0, 100, and 200 mmol/L were used to treat potted 35-day-old seedlings with rhizome growth, respectively. After 10 days, the biomass and number of daughter shoots all decreased, with more reduction in alkali than in salt stress. The rhizome biomass reduced more than other organs. The number of daughter shoots from rhizome was more than from tillers. Under both stresses, Na+ contents increased more in rhizome than in other organs; the reduction of K+ content was more in underground than aerial tissue. Anion ions or organic acids were absorbed to neutralize cations. Na+ content in stem and leaf increased markedly in high alkalinity (200 mmol/L), with accumulation of soluble sugar and organic acids sharply. Rhizomes help L. chinensis to adapt to saline and low alkaline stresses by transferring Na+. However, rhizomes lost the ability to prevent Na+ transport to aerial organs under high alkalinity, which led to severe growth inhibition of L. chinensis.