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Salt tolerance of the halophyte Limonium delicatulum is more associated with antioxidant enzyme activities than phenolic compounds

Souid, Aymen, Gabriele, Morena, Longo, Vincenzo, Pucci, Laura, Bellani, Lorenza, Smaoui, Abderrazak, Abdelly, Chedly, Ben Hamed, Karim
Functional plant biology 2016 v.43 no.7 pp. 607-619
Limonium, antioxidants, enzyme activity, enzymes, growth retardation, halophytes, ions, oxidation, oxidative stress, photosynthesis, pigments, polyphenols, salinity, salt tolerance, sodium chloride
In this work we studied the effect of salinity (ranging from 50 to 500mM NaCl) on the physiological and the antioxidant responses of the local halophyte Limonium delicatulum Kuntze. We based our analysis on 12 biochemical assays that are commonly used to measure the antioxidant responses under stress such as oxidative stress markers, enzymes activities and polyphenolic compounds. Our aim was to study parameters that are strongly correlated with the growth response to salinity. Results showed two different growth responses depending on the concentration of NaCl in the medium. Under 50 to 200mM, the growth was stimulated before it decreased significantly at 300–500mM. L. delicatulum revealed a good aptitude to maintain photosynthetic machinery by increasing the concentrations of photosynthetic pigments, which is essential for the stabilisation of photosystems and the photosynthesis process under optimal NaCl concentration. Their breakdown at higher salinity decreased the photosynthetic performance of plants resulting in growth inhibition. Moreover, to reduce the damaging effect of oxidative stress and to tolerate the accumulation of salt ions, L. delicatulum induced the activities of their antioxidant enzymes more than their contents in polyphenolic compounds.