Qualitative and quantitative differences in osmolytes accumulation and antioxidant activities in response to water deficit in four mediterranean limonium species

Sara González-Orenga, Mohamad Al Hassan, Josep V. Llinares, Purificación Lisón, Pilar M. López-Gresa, Mercedes Verdeguer, Oscar Vicente, Monica Boscaiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Limonium is a genus represented in the Iberian Peninsula by numerous halophytic species that are affected in nature by salinity, and often by prolonged drought episodes. Responses to water deficit have been studied in four Mediterranean Limonium species, previously investigated regarding salt tolerance mechanisms. The levels of biochemical markers, associated with specific responses—photosynthetic pigments, mono-and divalent ions, osmolytes, antioxidant compounds and enzymes—were determined in the control and water-stressed plants, and correlated with their relative degree of stress-induced growth inhibition. All the tested Limonium taxa are relatively resistant to drought on the basis of both the constitutive presence of high leaf ion levels that contribute to osmotic adjustment, and the stress-induced accumulation of osmolytes and increased activity of antioxidant enzymes, albeit with different qualitative and quantitative induction patterns. Limonium santapolense activated the strongest responses and clearly differed from Limonium virgatum, Limonium girardianum, and Limonium narbonense, as indicated by cluster and principal component analysis (PCA) analyses in agreement with its drier natural habitat, and compared to that of the other plants. Somewhat surprisingly, however, L. santapolense was the species most affected by water deficit in growth inhibition terms, which suggests the existence of additional mechanisms of defense operating in the field that cannot be mimicked in greenhouses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number506
JournalPlants
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Drought
  • Ions
  • Limonium girardianum
  • Limonium narbonense
  • Limonium santapolense
  • Limonium virgatum
  • Osmolytes
  • Oxidative stress
  • Water deficit

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