The effects of foliar spray application of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) on the growth, nitrogen metabolism, and ion distribution of salt-stressed watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai) seedlings were investigated. Supplementation of the nutrient solution with 100 mM NaCl significantly reduced leaf and root biomass of watermelon plants. Foliar application of 1.25 mM ALA significantly alleviated the inhibition of plant growth under salt stress. Salinity induced significant accumulation of nitrate, ammonium, and soluble protein and a significant decrease in the activities of nitrate reductase (NR), nitrite reductase (NiR), glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate synthase (GOGAT), and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) in watermelon plants. However, ALA significantly increased the activities of NR, GS, GOGAT, and GDH, but decreased the ammonium content and NiR activity. In addition, salt stress resulted in significant accumulation of Na+ and Cl− in plants, but decreased the contents of K+ and Mg2+. Application of ALA alleviated the salt stress-induced ion toxicity, and increased the contents of K+ and Mg2+. ALA also increased soluble protein and proline contents in salt-stressed watermelon plants. These results indicated that application of ALA alleviated the accumulation of Na+ and Cl− in salt-stressed watermelon plants, especially through regulating nitrogen metabolism and ion distribution, which were associated with an improvement in plant growth.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 23, 2017
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