Journal Article

Responses to Changes in Ca<sup>2+</sup> Supply in Two Mediterranean Evergreens, <i>Phillyrea latifolia</i> and <i>Pistacia lentiscus</i>, During Salinity Stress and Subsequent Relief

Massimiliano Tattini and Maria Laura Traversi

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 102, issue 4, pages 609-622
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn134
Responses to Changes in Ca2+ Supply in Two Mediterranean Evergreens, Phillyrea latifolia and Pistacia lentiscus, During Salinity Stress and Subsequent Relief

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Changes in root-zone Ca2+ concentration affect a plant's performance under high salinity, an issue poorly investigated for Mediterranean xerophytes, which may suffer from transient root-zone salinity stress in calcareous soils. It was hypothesized that high-Ca2+ supply may affect differentially the response to salinity stress of species differing in their strategy of Na+ allocation at organ level. Phillyrea latifolia and Pistacia lentiscus, which have been reported to greatly differ for Na+ uptake and transport rates to the leaves, were studied.

Methods

In plants exposed to 0 mm or 200 mm NaCl and supplied with 2·0 mm or 8·0 mm Ca2+, under 100 % solar irradiance, measurements were conducted of (a) gas exchange, PSII photochemistry and plant growth; (b) water and ionic relations; (c) the activity of superoxide dismutase and the lipid peroxidation; and (d) the concentration of individual polyphenols. Gas exchange and plant growth were also estimated during a period of relief from salinity stress.

Key Results

The performance of Pistacia lentiscus decreased to a significantly smaller degree than that of Phillyrea latifolia because of high salinity. Ameliorative effects of high-Ca2+ supply were more evident in Phillyrea latifolia than in Pistacia lentiscus. High-Ca2+ reduced steeply the Na+ transport to the leaves in salt-treated Phillyrea latifolia, and allowed a faster recovery of gas exchange and growth rates as compared with low-Ca2+ plants, during the period of relief from salinity. Salt-induced biochemical adjustments, mostly devoted to counter salt-induced oxidative damage, were greater in Phillyrea latifolia than in Pistacia lentiscus.

Conclusions

An increased Ca2+ : Na+ ratio may be of greater benefit for Phillyrea latifolia than for Pistacia lentiscus, as in the former, adaptive mechanisms to high root-zone salinity are primarily devoted to restrict the accumulation of potentially toxic ions in sensitive shoot organs.

Keywords: Calcium–sodium interactions; gas exchange; Na allocation; Na uptake and transport; oxidative damage; Phillyrea latifolia; Pistacia lentiscus; polyphenols; PSII photochemistry; relief from salinity; water relations

Journal Article.  9341 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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