Salinity substantially affects plant growth and crop productivity worldwide. Plants adopt several biochemical mechanisms including regulation of antioxidant biosynthesis to protect themselves against the toxic effects induced by the stress. One-year-old pistachio rootstock exhibiting different degrees of salinity tolerance were subjected to sodium chloride induced stress to identify genetic diversity among cultivated pistachio rootstock for their antioxidant responses, and to determine the correlation of these enzymes to salinity stress. Leaves and roots were harvested following NaCl-induced stress. The results showed that a higher concentration of NaCl treatment induced oxidative stress in the leaf tissue and to a lesser extent in the roots. Both tissues showed an increase in ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, peroxidase, and malondialdehyde. Responses of antioxidant enzymes were cultivar dependent, as well as temporal and dependent on the salinity level. Linear and quadratic regression model analysis revealed significant correlation of enzyme activities to salinity treatment in both tissues. The variation in salinity tolerance reflected their capabilities in orchestrating antioxidant enzymes at the roots and harmonized across the cell membranes of the leaves. This study provides a better understanding of root and leaf coordination in regulating the antioxidant enzymes to NaCl induced oxidative stress.
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