Letter | Published:

Anaerobiosis and Sodium Accumulation

Naturevolume 192pages991992 (1961) | Download Citation



ACCUMULATION of most cations by higher plants is considered to be an aerobic process. However, we now find that sodium is in part an exception to this generalization. Uptake of sodium by 6-day old plants of Hordeum vulgare, variety Atlas 46, occurs under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Accumulation in the roots under anaerobic conditions is restricted to a period of about 2 hr. (Fig. 1), during which time transport to the shoots is almost nil (Fig. 2). The amount of sodium accumulated by plants the roots of which are in either aerobic or anaerobic solutions is inhibited by substances such as iodoacetate and methylene blue, indicative of the initial uptake being coupled to metabolic reactions in both cases rather than to passive processes. Non-steady-state uptake by the anaerobic plants, which decreases with time as if some process is attenuating, suggests that the reactions involving sodium uptake are several steps removed from the respiratory chain.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Hopkins, H. T., Specht, A. W., and Hendricks, S. B., Plant Physiol., 25, 193 (1950).

  2. 2

    Letey, J., Lunt, O. R., Stolzy, L. H., and Szuszkeiwicz, T. S., Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. Proc., 25, 183 (1961).

  3. 3

    Sowell, W. F., and Rouse, R. D., Soil Sci., 86, 70 (1958).

  4. 4

    Fried, Maurice, and Noggle, J. C., Plant Physiol., 33, 139 (1958).

Download references

Author information


  1. Mineral Nutrition Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland

  2. Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, University of California, Riverside, California



  1. Search for JAMES E. LEGGETT in:

  2. Search for LEWIS H. STOLZY in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.