Soil salinity is a major global issue owing to its adverse impact on agricultural productivity and sustainability. Salinity problems occur under all climatic conditions and can result from both natural and human-induced actions. Generally speaking, saline soils occur in arid and semi-arid regions where rainfall is insufficient to meet the water requirements of the crops, and leach mineral salts out of the root-zone.

Soil salinity is a serious problem of agriculture in Pakistan. Salt-affected soils alone occur on more than six million hectares and more than 70% of the tube-wells in saline areas are pumping out brackish water. The problem is more severe in Sindh and Southern Punjab than other parts of the country. These problems are threatening the whole production system of arid and semi-arid areas of the third world. These areas are now subjected to severe degradation and desertification.

A wide range of adaptations and mitigation strategies are required to cope with such impacts. Efforts have been made to learn to live with salinity and make profitable use of saline land and water resources. Efficient resource management and crop/livestock improvement for evolving better breeds can help to overcome salinity stress. However, such strategies being long drawn and cost intensive, there is a need to develop simple and low cost biological methods for salinity stress management, which can be used on short term basis. A large number of plant species/varieties have been screened for salt tolerance using gravel/hydroponics technique.

So the purpose of teaching this  course to PhD students is  to make them aware about the enhancement of productivity under stressed conditions and increased resistance of plants against salinity stress by application of plant growth promoting microorganisms.

Course Learning Obectives

Specific objectives includes:

  • Characterize halophytic growth, yield and salt uptake rates  
  •  Identify halophytic nutritional value potential
  • Examine impacts of halophytic crops on quality of  water and soil


1. Leith, H. and M. Mochtchenko. 2004. Cash Crop Halophytes Recent Studies-Ten Years after Al-Ain Meeting. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

2.  Victor R. Squires, and A.T. Ayoub. 2010. Halophytes as a resource for livestock and for rehabilitation of degraded lands. Publisher NameSpringer, Dordrecht


3. Hasanuzzaman, M., S. Shabala, and   M. Fujita. 2019.  Halophytes and Climate Change, Adaptive Mechanisms and Potential Uses.

4.  Khan, M.A., M.O. Bilquees, and G.M. Ahmed. 2015. Halophytes for Food Security in Dry Lands. Paperback ISBN: 9780128018545

eBook ISBN: 9780128018804

5. Khan M.A.,  and M. Qaiser. 2006. Halophytes of Pakistan: characteristics, distribution and potential economic usages. In: Khan M.A., Böer B., Kust G.S., Barth HJ. (eds) Sabkha Ecosystems. Tasks for Vegetation Science, vol 42. Springer, Dordrecht.


Sessional+Presentations: 15

Practicals: 25

Mid Term Exam: 15 

Final exam: 45

Weekly Lecture Plan


Course Contents


Sources of salinity


Formation of saline soils


Distribution of Halophytes


Synecology of Halophytes


Mid Term Examinations


Water relation and mineral nutrition of Halophytes


Regulation of salt content of shoots


Effects of salt stress on growth and metabolism of halophytes


Mechanisms of salt resistance in halophytes.


Final Term Examinations

Course Material