Author(s): Ben Hassine A, Ghanem ME, Bouzid S, Lutts S
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Abstract Soil salinity and drought compromise water uptake and lead to osmotic adjustment in xero-halophyte plant species. These important environmental constraints may also have specific effects on plant physiology. Stress-induced accumulation of osmocompatible solutes was analysed in two Tunisian populations of the Mediteranean shrub Atriplex halimus L.-plants originating from a salt-affected coastal site (Monastir) or from a non-saline semi-arid area (Sbikha)-were exposed to nutrient solution containing either low (40 mM) or high (160 mM) doses of NaCl or 15\% polyethylene glycol. The low NaCl dose stimulated plant growth in both populations. Plants from Monastir were more resistant to high salinity and exhibited a greater ability to produce glycinebetaine in response to salt stress. Conversely, plants from Sbikha were more resistant to water stress and displayed a higher rate of proline accumulation. Proline accumulated as early as 24 h after stress imposition and such accumulation was reversible. By contrast, glycinebetaine concentration culminated after 10 d of stress and did not decrease after the stress relief. The highest salt resistance of Monastir plants was not due to a lower rate of Na(+) absorption; plants from this population exhibited a higher stomatal conductance and a prodigal water-use strategy leading to lower water-use efficiency than plants from Sbikha. Exogenous application of proline (1 mM) improved the level of drought resistance in Monastir plants through a decrease in oxidative stress quantified by the malondialdehyde concentration, while the exogenous application of glycinebetaine improved the salinity resistance of Sbikha plants through a positive effect on photosystem II efficiency.
This article was published in J Exp Bot
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques