Salinity (NaCl) is one of the major problems associated with irrigated agricultural lands, especially rice fields. Being the common inhabitants of rice fields, cyanobacteria frequently experience high concentration of NaCl which in turn causes cellular damage. Therefore, mitigation of NaCl stress in cyanobacteria, plant growth-promoting microorganisms, is of utmost importance. The present study was designed to investigate the role of calcium in the alleviation of NaCl stress-induced cellular in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942. The cyanobacterium was subjected to sub-lethal concentration of NaCl (800 mM) with and without the supplementation of calcium (1 mM CaCl2) for 8 days. The results showed a drastic reduction in growth due to excess NaCl, but supplementation of CaCl2 reduced the salt stress damage and partially restored growth. Application of calcium increased pigment contents, photosynthetic efficiency, antioxidative enzyme activity, osmolyte contents and reduced the intracellular sodium ion concentration, MDA content, electrolyte leakage and free oxygen radical generation. Furthermore, proteins involved in photosynthesis, respiration, ATP synthesis and protein synthesis along with two hypothetical proteins were also observed to be upregulated in the cyanobacterium in presence of calcium. Furthermore, proteins related to oxidative stress defence, nitrogen metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, fatty acid metabolism and secondary metabolism were found to be upregulated by several fold. Therefore, our study suggests that calcium suppresses salt toxicity in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 by restricting the entry of Na+ into the cell, increasing osmolyte production and upregulating defence-related proteins.
Journal of Applied Phycology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 15, 2018
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