The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of salt stress on the photosynthetic electron transport chain using two chickpea lines (Cicer arietinum L.) differing in their salt stress tolerance at the germination stage (AKN 87 and AKN 290). Two weeks after sowing, seedlings were exposed to salt stress for 2 weeks and irrigated with 200 ml of 200 mM NaCl every 2 days. The polyphasic OJIP fluorescence transient and the 820-nm transmission kinetics (photosystem I) were used to evaluate the effects of salt stress on the functionality of the photosynthetic electron transport chain. It was observed that a signature for salt stress was a combination of a higher J step (V-J), a smaller IP amplitude, and little or no effect on the primary quantum yield of PSII (phi(Po)). We observed for AKN 290 a shorter leaf life cycle, which may represent a mechanism to cope with salt stress. For severely salt-stressed leaves, an inhibition of electron flow between the PQ pool and P700 was found. The data also suggest that the properties of electron flow beyond PSI are affected by salt stress.