Regulation of photosynthesis under salt stress and associated tolerance mechanisms

Noreen Zahra, Marwa Sulaiman Al Hinai, Muhammad Bilal Hafeez, Abdul Rehman, Abdul Wahid, Kadambot H.M. Siddique, Muhammad Farooq*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Photosynthesis is crucial for the survival of all living biota, playing a key role in plant productivity by generating the carbon skeleton that is the primary component of all biomolecules. Salinity stress is a major threat to agricultural productivity and sustainability as it can cause irreversible damage to photosynthetic apparatus at any developmental stage. However, the capacity of plants to become photosynthetically active under adverse saline conditions remains largely untapped. This study addresses this discrepancy by exploring the current knowledge on the impact of salinity on chloroplast operation, metabolism, chloroplast ultrastructure, and leaf anatomy, and highlights the dire consequences for photosynthetic machinery and stomatal conductance. We also discuss enhancing photosynthetic capacity by modifying and redistributing electron transport between photosystems and improving photosystem stability using genetic approaches, beneficial microbial inoculations, and root architecture changes to improve salt stress tolerance under field conditions. Understanding chloroplast operations and molecular engineering of photosynthetic genes under salinity stress will pave the way for developing salt-tolerant germplasm to ensure future sustainability by rehabilitating saline areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2022


  • Beneficial microbes
  • Chloroplast ultrastructure
  • Genetic approaches
  • Photosynthesis
  • Salinity stress
  • Chloroplasts/ultrastructure
  • Salt Stress
  • Salt Tolerance/physiology
  • Salinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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