Physiological and morphological features denote that salt stress in Stevia rebaudiana is based on nonstomatic instead of stomatic limitation


  • Angela Castillejo-Morales University of Cordoba, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Regional Group of Participatory Research of Small Farmers of the Colombian Atlantic Coast INVEPAR, Monteria
  • Alfredo Jarma-Orozco University of Cordoba, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Regional Group of Participatory Research of Small Farmers of the Colombian Atlantic Coast INVEPAR, Monteria
  • Marcelo F. Pompelli Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Centro de Biociências, Departamento de Botânica, Laboratório de Ecofisiologia Vegetal, Recife



Biomass distribution, Disruption between energy input and photosynthesis, Gas exchange, Salinity, Stomatal conductance


Stevia rebaudiana is a very widespread plant throughout the world, due to the production of diterpenic steviol glycosides, with high sweetening power, being up to 300 times sweeter than sugar at a concentration of 0.4% (w/v). In the Colombian Caribbean, research has focused on evaluating the adaptation and management of commercial genotypes and experimental lines, however, their behavior against soil salinization is unknown. The objective of this research was to evaluate the response of some physiological and morphological characteristics of two promising genotypes against salt stress. The relationship between gas exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and growth parameters was modulated as a function of the NaCl concentration. Although stomatal conductance and perspiration did not show a response to salt levels, the reduction in net photosynthesis as salinity increased was not associated with stomatal effects, but rather with a drop in the rate of electron transport, which articulates the absorption of light energy and its conversion into photoassimilates. Therefore, it could be inferred that salinity-stressed S. rebaudiana plants are more sensitive to non-stomatal limitation than to stomatal limitation.


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Influence of NaCl salinity on plant dry weight of different organs G04 (A) and G19 (B) genotypes of S. rebaudiana plants. Arrow indicates the salinity resistance threshold (i.e. inflection curve point), while the dotted line marks the C50 values. LDW: Leaf dry weight. SDW: shoot dry weight. RDW: root dry weight.




How to Cite

Castillejo-Morales, A., Jarma-Orozco, A., & Pompelli, M. F. (2021). Physiological and morphological features denote that salt stress in Stevia rebaudiana is based on nonstomatic instead of stomatic limitation. Revista Colombiana De Ciencias Hortícolas, 15(3), e12928.



Section on aromatic, medicinal and spice plants


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