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Increased Na⁺ and Cl ⁻ accumulation induced by NaCl salinity inhibits cotyledonary reserve mobilization and alters the source-sink relationship in establishing dwarf cashew seedlings

Marques, Elton Camelo, de Freitas, Paulo André Ferreira, Alencar, Nara Lídia Mendes, Prisco, José Tarquinio, Gomes-Filho, Enéas
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2013 v.35 no.7 pp. 2171-2182
Anacardium occidentale, amino acids, cotyledons, early development, ions, metabolism, salinity, salt stress, seedlings, sodium, sodium chloride, source-sink relationships, starch, starch synthase, sugar content, sugars
We studied the NaCl-induced changes in cotyledons and the embryonic axis of establishing dwarf cashew (Anacardium occidentale) seedlings. The salt stress reduced the growth of dwarf cashew seedlings, and this response was related to the inhibition of cotyledonary reserve depletion. Lipid mobilization was inhibited by NaCl due to reduced lipase activity in the emerging and establishing seedlings. Additionally, there was reduced transient starch accumulation in the cotyledons of the salt-stressed seedlings that was associated with lower starch synthase activity at the early developmental stages and inhibited amylolytic and starch phosphorylase activities at the established seedling stage. The NaCl-induced changes in lipid and starch metabolism influenced the soluble sugar content in the cotyledons. Protein mobilization was inhibited by NaCl, and we observed the accumulation of amino acids and the inhibition of proteolytic activity in the cotyledons of the salt-stressed established seedlings. Salinity significantly reduced the free amino acid and reducing sugar contents in the embryonic axes of both emerged and established seedlings, whereas the non-reducing sugar content was affected by this stress only in the established seedlings. The Na⁺ and Cl⁻ contents progressively increased in the cotyledons and embryonic axis of the seedlings as the salinity increased. We conclude that salt stress inhibits dwarf cashew seedling establishment by inhibiting the mobilization of reserves, an inhibition that was related to increased Na⁺ and Cl⁻ accumulation in the cotyledons. Additionally, these toxic ions reduced the sink strength of the embryonic axis with regard to the products of cotyledonary reserve mobilization.