Salicylic acid mitigates salinity stress by improving antioxidant defence system and enhances vincristine and vinblastine alkaloids production in periwinkle [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don]

Acta Physiologiae Plantarum (Impact Factor: 1.52). 05/2011; 33(3):987-999. DOI: 10.1007/s11738-010-0631-6

ABSTRACT A pot experiment was conducted to find out whether the foliar spray of salicylic acid (SA) could successfully ameliorate the
adverse effects of salinity stress on periwinkle. Thirty-day-old plants were supplied with Control; 0mM NaCl+10−5M SA (T1); 50mM NaCl+0 SA (T2); 100mM NaCl+0 SA (T3); 150mM NaCl+0 SA (T4); 50mM NaCl+10−5M SA (T5); 100mM NaCl+10−5M SA (T6); 150mM NaCl+10−5M SA (T7). The plants were sampled 90days after sowing to assess the effect of SA on stressed and unstressed plants. Salt stress
significantly reduced the growth attributes including plant height, leaf-area index, shoot and root fresh weights, shoot and
root dry weights. Increasing NaCl concentrations led to a gradual decrease in photosynthetic parameters and activities of
nitrate reductase and carbonic anhydrase. Ascorbic acid, total alkaloids and antioxidants enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase
and peroxidase also declined in NaCl-treated plants. The plants, undergoing NaCl stress, exhibited a significant increase
in electrolyte leakage and proline content. Foliar application of SA (10−5M) reduced the damaging effect of salinity on plant growth and accelerated the restoration of growth processes. It not only
improved the growth parameters but also reversed the effects of salinity. Total alkaloid content was improved by SA application
both in unstressed and stressed plants. The highest level of total alkaloid content recorded in leaves of SA-treated stressed
plants was 11.1%. Foliar spray of SA overcame the adverse effect of salinity by improving the content of vincristine (14.0%)
and vinblastine (14.6%) in plants treated with 100M NaCl.

KeywordsAscorbic acid–Antioxidant–Catalase–
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don–Peroxidase–Salicylic acid–Salt stress–Vincristine–Vinblastine

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