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Open AccessArticle

Natural and Synthetic Hydrophilic Polymers Enhance Salt and Drought Tolerance of Metasequoia glyptostroboides Hu and W.C.Cheng Seedlings

1
Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Tree Breeding by Molecular Design, College of Biological Sciences and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Qinghua East Road 35, Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Architectural and Artistic Design, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000, China
3
Key Laboratory of Biological Resources Protection and Utilization in Hubei Province, Hubei University for Nationalities, Enshi 445000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(10), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100643
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses to Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Forest Trees)
We compared the effects of hydrophilic polymer amendments on drought and salt tolerance of Metasequoia glyptostroboides Hu and W.C.Cheng seedlings using commercially available Stockosorb and Luquasorb synthetic hydrogels and a biopolymer, Konjac glucomannan (KGM). Drought, salinity, or the combined stress of both drought and salinity caused growth retardation and leaf injury in M. glyptostroboides. Under a range of simulated stress conditions, biopolymers and synthetic hydrogels alleviated growth inhibition and leaf injury, improved photosynthesis, and enhanced whole-plant and unit transpiration. For plants subjected to drought conditions, Stockosorb hydrogel amendment specifically caused a remarkable increase in water supply to roots due to the water retention capacity of the granular polymer. Under saline stress, hydrophilic polymers restricted Na+ and Cl concentrations in roots and leaves. Moreover, root K+ uptake resulted from K+ enrichment in Stockosorb and Luquasorb granules. Synthetic polymers and biopolymers increased the ability of M. glyptostroboides to tolerate combined impacts of drought and salt stress due to their water- and salt-bearing capacities. Similar to the synthetic polymers, the biopolymer also enhanced M. glyptostroboides drought and salt stress tolerance. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrophilic polymers; Stockosorb; Luquasorb; Konjac glucomannan; photosynthesis; ion relation hydrophilic polymers; Stockosorb; Luquasorb; Konjac glucomannan; photosynthesis; ion relation
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Li, J.; Ma, X.; Sa, G.; Zhou, D.; Zheng, X.; Zhou, X.; Lu, C.; Lin, S.; Zhao, R.; Chen, S. Natural and Synthetic Hydrophilic Polymers Enhance Salt and Drought Tolerance of Metasequoia glyptostroboides Hu and W.C.Cheng Seedlings. Forests 2018, 9, 643.

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