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Phenolic Content And Antioxidant Activity In Two Contrasting Medicago Ciliaris Lines Cultivated Under Salt Stress

Imène Salah, Héla Mahmoudi, Margaret Gruber, Tarek Slatni, Mondher Boulaaba, Mhemmed Gandour, Dorsaf Messedi, Karim Hamed, Riadh Ksouri, Abdelali Hannoufa, Chedly Abdelly

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AbstractThe objective of this study was to determine more indepth physiological and antioxidant responses in two Medicago ciliaris lines (a salt-tolerant line TNC 1.8 and a salt-sensitive line TNC 11.9) with contrasting responses to 100 mM NaCl. Under salt stress, both lines showed a decrease in total biomass and in the growth rate for roots, but TNC 1.8 was less affected by salt than TNC 11.9 in that it maintained leaf growth even in the presence of added salt. In both lines, salt stress mainly affected micronutrient status (Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn) rather than K nutrition, but the tolerant line TNC 1.8 accumulated more Na in leaves and less in roots compared with TNC 11.9. Salt stress decreased total soluble sugars (TSS) in all organs of the sensitive line TNC 11.9, whereas TSS was only reduced in roots of the tolerant line. The salt-induced drop in growth was linked to an increase in lipid peroxidation in roots of both lines and in leaves of the sensitive line. The salt-tolerant line TNC 1.8 was more efficient at managing salt-induced oxidative damage in leaves and to a lesser extent in roots than the salt-sensitive line TNC 11.9, by preserving higher phenolic compound and superoxide dismutase levels in both organs.