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Physiol Plant. 2002 Jun;115(2):251-257.

Short-term effects of salt stress on antioxidant systems and leaf water relations of pea leaves.

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Departamento de Nutrición y Fisiología Vegetal, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, CSIC, Apartado 4195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain Department of Applied Biology, Plant Biology Division, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Campus de Orihuela E-03312 Alicante, Spain.


In pea (Pisum sativum L.) plants the effect of short-term salt stress and recovery on growth, water relations and the activity of some antioxidant enzymes was studied. Leaf growth was interrupted by salt addition. However, during recovery, growth was restored, although there was a delay in returning to control levels. Salt stress brought about a decrease in osmotic potential and in stomatal conductance, but at 48 h and 24 h post-stress, respectively, both parameters recovered control values. In pea leaves, a linear increase in the Na+ concentration was observed in salt treated plants. In the recovered plants, a slight reduction in the Na+ concentration was observed, probably due to a dilution effect since the plant growth was restored and the total Na+ content was maintined in leaves after the stress period. A significant increase of SOD activity occurred after 48 h of stress and after 8 h of the recovery period (53% and 42%, respectively), and it reached control values at 24 h post-stress. APX activity did not change during the stress period, and after only 8 h post-stress it was increased by 48% with respect to control leaves. GR showed a 71% increase after 24 h of salt stress and also a significant increase was observed in the recovered plants. A strong increase of TBARS was observed after 8 h of stress (180% increase), but then a rapid decrease was observed during the stress period. Surprisingly, TBARS again increased at 8 h post-stress (78% increase), suggesting that plants could perceive the elimination of NaCl from the hydroponic cultures as another stress during the first hours of recovery. These results suggest that short-term NaCl stress produces reversible effects on growth, leaf water relations and on SOD and APX activities. This work also suggests that both during the first hours of imposition of stress and during the first hours of recovery an oxidative stress was produced.


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