5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is a key precursor for the biosynthesis of porphyrins such as heme and chlorophyll. ALA alleviates salinity stress damage in germinating seeds and improves seedling growth. Exogenous application of ALA at low concentrations has been shown to enhance salt tolerance in a number of plants. In the present study, we studied the effect of exogenous application of ALA on enhancing salt stress tolerance in Isatis indigotica Fort. (Anhui population as S1, Shanxi population as S2). A foliar application of 0, 12.5, 16.7, 25.0, and 50.0 mg/L ALA was given to the leaves of I. indigotica plants treated with 100 mmol/L NaCl. The fresh weight of leaves and roots; chlorophyll relative content (SPAD value); photosynthetic parameters, such as net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular carbon dioxide concentration (Ci) and water use efficiency of the treated plants were determined. The third leaf of each treated plant was used to determine the activities of antioxidant enzymes. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), glutamate synthase (GOGAT), nitrate reductase (NR) activities and the malondialdehyde (MDA) content increased in response to 100 mmol/L NaCl in both S1 and S2 plants. However, the fresh weight of leaf and root, chlorophyll relative content, Pn, Gs, Ci decreased in response to salt stress in both S1 and S2 plants. In all foliar application of ALA in S1 plants, the MDA content, and the activities of SOD and POD were the highest in response to 50.0 mg/L foliar application of ALA. GOGAT and NR activities were the highest in response to 16.7 mg/L foliar ALA. Chlorophyll content and Pn were the highest in S1 plants treated with by 25.0 mg/L ALA. In S2 plants, plant fresh weight, chlorophyll relative content, SOD, CAT, NR activities and Pn treated with 16.7 mg/L ALA were higher than that of the control (CK0). POD, MDA, GOGAT activities in S2 plants treated with 25.0 mg/L ALA were the highest among all treatments. Thus, our results showed that the optimal concentration of ALA (16.7 ~ 25.0 mmol/L) increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes, which in turn helps to abate the damage caused by salt stress in I. indigotica seedlings. Furthermore, ALA also results in an increase in chlorophyll content, Pn and the activities of GOGAT and NR.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 5, 2017
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