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J Plant Physiol. 2015 Apr 15;178:84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2015.02.006. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

Nitrogen availability regulates proline and ethylene production and alleviates salinity stress in mustard (Brassica juncea).

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Department of Botany, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi 110062, India. Electronic address:
Department of Botany, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi 110062, India. Electronic address:
Plant Physiology Section, Department of Botany, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202 002, India.


Proline content and ethylene production have been shown to be involved in salt tolerance mechanisms in plants. To assess the role of nitrogen (N) in the protection of photosynthesis under salt stress, the effect of N (0, 5, 10, 20 mM) on proline and ethylene was studied in mustard (Brassica juncea). Sufficient N (10 mM) optimized proline production under non-saline conditions through an increase in proline-metabolizing enzymes, leading to osmotic balance and protection of photosynthesis through optimal ethylene production. Excess N (20 mM), in the absence of salt stress, inhibited photosynthesis and caused higher ethylene evolution but lower proline production compared to sufficient N. In contrast, under salt stress with an increased demand for N, excess N optimized ethylene production, which regulates the proline content resulting in recovered photosynthesis. The effect of excess N on photosynthesis under salt stress was further substantiated by the application of the ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor, 1-aminoethoxy vinylglycine (AVG), which inhibited proline production and photosynthesis. Without salt stress, AVG promoted photosynthesis in plants receiving excess N by inhibiting stress ethylene production. The results suggest that a regulatory interaction exists between ethylene, proline and N for salt tolerance. Nitrogen differentially regulates proline production and ethylene formation to alleviate the adverse effect of salinity on photosynthesis in mustard.


Ethylene; Nitrogen; Photosynthesis; Proline; Salinity

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