Growing bioenergy grasses can contribute to a great extent towards the production of biomass, and it can be a potential source of renewable energy. Such grasses, if suitable for marginal land, will solve better the problem of its competition with the cultivation of food crops in arable land. Four different potential bioenergy grasses, e.g., Saccharum arundinaceum Retz., hybrid Napier var. CO-3, Saccharum spontaneum L., and Arundo donax L. were selected based on our earlier study, and these perennial grasses were subjected to NaCl stress, a characteristic feature of marginal lands. Various measurements to assess the NaCl tolerance mechanism, e.g., MDA content, antioxidant enzyme activity, photosynthetic pigments composition, chlorophyll fluorescence and photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) activities were analyzed after imparting NaCl stress and compared with the control plants. Among the grasses studied, a lower maximum quantum yield of PSII (F v/F m) and PSI and PSII activities were recorded in S. spontaneum and Napier var. CO-3 than in S. arundinaceum and A. donax. The latter two grasses showed less degradation of total chlorophyll and low MDA content. The maintenance of a better water status of A. donax and S. arundinaceum is attributed to the maintenance of favorable osmotic balance by the accumulation of the higher levels of compatible solutes, such as total soluble sugars and proline. The better performance of S. arundinaceum and A. donax under high NaCl conditions was also facilitated by the higher free radical-scavenging potential in them, as represented by the increase in peroxidase activity. These results suggest that S. arundinaceum and A. donax are better adapted to NaCl stress than S. spontaneum and Napier var. CO-3. The high NaCl tolerance potential, exhibited by S. arundinaceum and A. donax, makes them an appropriate choice for marginal lands affected by high levels of NaCl.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 21, 2014
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