Oxford University Press
Background and Aims Some Caryophyllales species accumulate abnormally large shoot sodium (Na) concentrations in non-saline environments. It is not known whether this is a consequence of altered Na partitioning between roots and shoots. This paper tests the hypotheses (1) that Na concentrations in shoots ([Na]shoot) and in roots ([Na]root) are positively correlated among Caryophyllales, and (2) that shoot Na hyperaccumulation is correlated with [Na]shoot/[Na]root quotients. Methods Fifty two genotypes, representing 45 Caryophyllales species and 4 species from other angiosperm orders, were grown hydroponically in a non-saline, complete nutrient solution. Concentrations of Na in shoots and in roots were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Key Results Sodium concentrations in shoots and roots were not correlated among Caryophyllales species with normal [Na]shoot, but were positively correlated among Caryophyllales species with abnormally large [Na]shoot. In addition, Caryophyllales species with abnormally large [Na]shoot had greater [Na]shoot/[Na]root than Caryophyllales species with normal [Na]shoot. Conclusions Sodium hyperaccumulators in the Caryophyllales are characterized by abnormally large [Na]shoot, a positive correlation between [Na]shoot and [Na]root, and [Na]shoot/[Na]root quotients greater than unity.