Salt tolerance of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica)

A. Nerd, A. Karadi, Y. Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In view of the need to exploit saline water resources in agriculture in arid zones, we investigated the salt tolerance of Opuntia ficus-indica in plants growing in solution culture. Salt (NaCl) was added in concentrations ranging from 5 (control) to 200 mol m-3. Cladode growth was sensitive to salinity, being 60% of the control at 50 mol m-3 NaCl. The root-to-stem ratio decreased significantly only at 200 mol m-3. Various other parameters were studied, such as water content, Na, K and Cl content, osmotic pressure, and CO2 uptake. Of these parameters the decreases in cladode water content and CO2 uptake were related to the decrease in cladode growth. Raised salinity increased cladode osmotic pressure, which was associated with tissue dehydration. We concluded that osmotic adjustment does not occur in prickly pear under salt stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Nov 1991


  • CO uptake
  • growth
  • monovalent ions
  • osmotic adjustment
  • water relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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