Stability of thylakoid protein complexes and preserving photosynthetic efficiency are crucial for the successful recovery of the halophyte Cakile maritima from high salinity

authored by
Nèjia Farhat, Wafa Kouas, Hans-Peter Braun, Ahmed Debez

Plants native to extreme habitats often face changes in environmental conditions such as salinity level and water availability. In response, plants have evolved efficient mechanisms allowing them to survive or recover. In the present work, effects of high salinity and salt-stress release were studied on the halophyte Cakile maritima. Four week-old plants were either cultivated at 0 mM NaCl or 200 mM NaCl. After one month of treatment, plants were further irrigated at either 0 mM NaCl, 200 mM NaCl, or rewatered to 0 mM NaCl (stress release). Upon salt stress, C. maritima plants exhibited reduced biomass production and shoot hydration which were associated with a decrease in the amount of chlorophyll a and b. However, under the same stressful conditions a significant increase of anthocyanin and malonyldialdehyde concentrations was noticed. Salt-stressed plants were able to maintain stable protein complexes of thylakoid membranes. Measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence and P700 redox state showed that PSI was more susceptible for damage by salinity than PSII. PSII machinery was significantly enhanced under saline conditions. All measured parameters were partially restored under salt-stress release conditions. Photoinhibition of PSI was also reversible and C. maritima was able to successfully re-establish PSI machinery indicating the high contribution of chloroplasts in salt tolerance mechanisms of C. maritima. Overall, to overcome high salinity stress, C. maritima sets a cascade of physio-biochemical and molecular pathways. Chloroplasts seem to act as metabolic centers as part of this adaptive process enabling growth restoration in this halophyte following salt stress release.

Institute of Plant Genetics
External Organisation(s)
Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria (CBBC)
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Physiology, Genetics, Plant Science
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 15 - Life on Land
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