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Article

Responses to Salt Stress in Portulaca: Insight into Its Tolerance Mechanisms

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Institute of Life Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Mănăștur St. 3-5, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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AgroTransilvania Cluster, Dezmir, Crișeni FN, 407039 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Wageningen UR Plant Breeding, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Department of Soil Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Mănăștur St. 3-5, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Institute for the Conservation and Improvement of Valencian Agrodiversity (COMAV), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Mediterranean Agroforestry Institute (IAM), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Faculty of Horticulture, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Mănăștur St. 3-5, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121660
Received: 15 October 2020 / Revised: 18 November 2020 / Accepted: 25 November 2020 / Published: 27 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Plants to Environmental Stresses)
Climate change and its detrimental effects on agricultural production, freshwater availability and biodiversity accentuated the need for more stress-tolerant varieties of crops. This requires unraveling the underlying pathways that convey tolerance to abiotic stress in wild relatives of food crops, industrial crops and ornamentals, whose tolerance was not eroded by crop cycles. In this work we try to demonstrate the feasibility of such strategy applying and investigating the effects of saline stress in different species and cultivars of Portulaca. We attempted to unravel the main mechanisms of stress tolerance in this genus and to identify genotypes with higher tolerance, a procedure that could be used as an early detection method for other ornamental and minor crops. To investigate these mechanisms, six-week-old seedlings were subjected to saline stress for 5 weeks with increasing salt concentrations (up to 400 mM NaCl). Several growth parameters and biochemical stress markers were determined in treated and control plants, such as photosynthetic pigments, monovalent ions (Na+, K+ and Cl), different osmolytes (proline and soluble sugars), oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde—a by-product of membrane lipid peroxidation—MDA) and non-enzymatic antioxidants (total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids). The applied salt stress inhibited plant growth, degraded photosynthetic pigments, increased concentrations of specific osmolytes in both leaves and roots, but did not induce significant oxidative stress, as demonstrated by only small fluctuations in MDA levels. All Portulaca genotypes analyzed were found to be Na+ and Cl includers, accumulating high amounts of these ions under saline stress conditions, but P. grandiflora proved to be more salt tolerant, showing only a small reduction under growth stress, an increased flower production and the lowest reduction in K+/Na+ rate in its leaves. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic stress; antioxidant activity; growth inhibition; ion homeostasis; proline; salt stress abiotic stress; antioxidant activity; growth inhibition; ion homeostasis; proline; salt stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Borsai, O.; Hassan, M.A.; Negrușier, C.; Raigón, M.D.; Boscaiu, M.; Sestraș, R.E.; Vicente, O. Responses to Salt Stress in Portulaca: Insight into Its Tolerance Mechanisms. Plants 2020, 9, 1660. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121660

AMA Style

Borsai O, Hassan MA, Negrușier C, Raigón MD, Boscaiu M, Sestraș RE, Vicente O. Responses to Salt Stress in Portulaca: Insight into Its Tolerance Mechanisms. Plants. 2020; 9(12):1660. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121660

Chicago/Turabian Style

Borsai, Orsolya, Mohamad Al Hassan, Cornel Negrușier, M. Dolores Raigón, Monica Boscaiu, Radu E. Sestraș, and Oscar Vicente. 2020. "Responses to Salt Stress in Portulaca: Insight into Its Tolerance Mechanisms" Plants 9, no. 12: 1660. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121660

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