Salinity is one of the major abiotic factors threatening food security worldwide. Recently, our understanding of early processes underlying salinity tolerance has expanded. In this review, early signaling events, such as phospholipid signaling, calcium ion (Ca2+) responses, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, together with salt stress-induced abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation, are brought into the context of long-term salt stress-specific responses and alteration of plant growth. Salt-induced quiescent and recovery growth phases rely on modification of cell cycle activity, cell expansion, and cell wall extensibility. The period of initial growth arrest varies among different organs, leading to altered plant morphology. Studying stress-induced changes in growth dynamics can be used for screening to discover novel genes contributing to salt stress tolerance in model species and crops.
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