Salinity is one of the most serious factors limiting the productivity of agricultural crops, with adverse effects on germination, plant vigor, and crop yield. This salinity may be natural or induced by agricultural activities such as irrigation or the use of certain types of fertilizer. The most detrimental effect of salinity stress is the accumulation of Na+ and Cl− ions in tissues of plants exposed to soils with high NaCl concentrations.
The entry of both Na+ and Cl− into the cells causes severe ion imbalance, and excess uptake might cause significant physiological disorder(s). High Na+ concentration inhibits the uptake of K+, which is an element for plant growth and development that results in lower productivity and may even lead to death.
The genetic analyses revealed K+ and Na+ transport systems such as SOS1, which belong to the CBL gene family and play a key role in the transport of Na+ from the roots to the aerial parts in the Arabidopsis plant.
In this review, the authors mainly discuss the roles of alkaline cations K+ and Na+, Ion homeostasis-transport determinants, and their regulation. Moreover, they tried to give a synthetic overview of soil salinity, its effects on plants, and tolerance mechanisms to withstand stress.