The salinity tolerance mechanism in date palm through antioxidation has not been completely deciphered to date. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the role of various antioxidants in salinity tolerance. Two date palm cultivars, contrasting in salinity tolerance, were used as model plants in a comparative study designed to detect changes in growth, Na+
uptake, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and antioxidant accumulations, when plants were exposed to salt stress. The results showed that salinity treatment had a more substantial negative effect on the growth and photosynthetic pigmentation of the susceptible ‘Zabad’ cultivar than on the tolerant ‘Umsila’ cultivar, probably due to the ability of ‘Umsila’ to accumulate less Na+
and more K+
, to maintain a normal concentration of ROS and to produce more non-enzymatic antioxidants, including glutathione, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and proline. Under salinity, ‘Umsila’ could also activate more superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) than ‘Zabad’. These results suggest that the tolerance of ‘Umsila’ is partially due to the balanced Na+
uptake and to the relatively high concentration of ROS-scavenging metabolites. Together, these results indicate that the antioxidant mechanism is crucial for salinity tolerance in date palms. However, other mechanisms may also be involved in this trait.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited