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Physiol Plant. 2008 Mar;132(3):293-305. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2007.01009.x.

Long-term effects of mild salt stress on growth, ion accumulation and superoxide dismutase expression of Arabidopsis rosette leaves.

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Physiologie et Biochimie de la Tolérance au Sel des Plantes, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Campus Universitaire, 2092 Tunis El Manar, Tunisia.


Arabidopsis thaliana plants (wild-type accessions Col and N1438) were submitted to a prolonged, mild salt stress using two types of protocols. These protocols allowed salt-treated plants to absorb nutrients either through a part of their root system maintained in control medium (split-rooted plants) or during episodes on control medium alternating with salt application (salt alternation experiment). Full-salt treatments (salt applied continuously to whole root system) resulted in severe (but non-lethal) growth inhibition. This effect was partly alleviated in split-rooted plants on mixed salt-control medium and in plants submitted to salt-control medium alternation. The activity of the various isoforms of superoxide dismutases (SODs) did not appreciably change with the treatments. The abundance of the mRNAs of the seven SOD genes present in Arabidopsis genome was determined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The two protocols gave qualitatively identical results. The expression level was increased by full-salt treatments for some genes and diminished for other genes. However, the nature of these genes differed according to the accessions: the responses to salt of FSD1 and MSD were opposite in Col and N1438. In Col, salt treatments inhibited the expression of FSD1 and strongly stimulated that of CSD1 and MSD. In N1438, the stimulation by salt concerned FSD1 and CSD1 and MSD expression being inhibited. In both accessions, the expression of CSD2 and CSD3 was lowered by salt. For all genes, the treatments that mitigated stress partially restored SOD expression to control level. Thus, the changes in SOD transcript abundance accurately reflected the severity of the salt stress.

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