Differential responses to salinity of two Atriplex halimus populations in relation to organic solutes and antioxidant systems involving thiol reductases

Fatima Bouchenak, Patricia Henri, Fatma-Zohra Benrebiha, Pascal Rey
Journal of Plant Physiology 2012 October 15, 169 (15): 1445-53
Atriplex halimus L. is a xero-halophyte species widespread in the Mediterranean basin. The tolerance to water stress and high salinity of two Atriplex populations from semi-arid (Djelfa) and arid saline (Laghouat) Algerian regions has been investigated in relation with organic solutes and antioxidant systems. Whereas no noticeable difference was observed between the two populations under water stress resulting from withholding watering or PEG treatment, Laghouat plants display significantly higher fresh and dry weights than Djelfa plants when exposed to high salinity. At 300mM NaCl, Laghouat plants exhibit higher concentrations in Na(+), proline and quaternary ammonium compounds, and a higher catalase activity than Djelfa plants. We then analysed the involvement of recently characterized plastidial thiol reductases, peroxiredoxins (Prxs) and methionine sulphoxide reductases (MSRs), key enzymes scavenging organic peroxides and repairing oxidized proteins, respectively. Upon salt treatment (300mM NaCl), we observed higher amounts of PrxQ and over-oxidized 2-Cys Prx in Laghouat than in Djelfa. An increased abundance of plastidial MSRA and a higher total MSR activity were also noticed in Laghouat plants treated with 300mM NaCl compared to Djelfa ones. We propose that mechanisms based on organic solutes and antioxidant enzymes like catalases, peroxiredoxins and MSRs party underlie the better tolerance of the Laghouat population to high salt.

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