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      Salt-tolerant rootstock increases yield of pepper under salinity through maintenance of photosynthetic performance and sinks strength.

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          Abstract

          The performance of a salt-tolerant pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) accession (A25) utilized as a rootstock was assessed in two experiments. In a first field experiment under natural salinity conditions, we observed a larger amount of marketable fruit (+75%) and lower Blossom-end Root incidence (-31%) in commercial pepper cultivar Adige (A) grafted onto A25 (A/A25) when compared with ungrafted plants. In order to understand this behavior a second greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine growth, mineral partitioning, gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters, antioxidant systems and proline content in A and A/A25 plants under salinity conditions (80 mM NaCl for 14 days). Salt stress induced significantly stunted growth of A plants (-40.6% of leaf dry weight) compared to the control conditions, while no alterations were observed in A/A25 at the end of the experiment. Accumulation of Na(+) and Cl(-) in leaves and roots was similar in either grafted or ungrafted plants. Despite the activation of protective mechanisms (increment of superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase activity and non-photochemical quenching), A plants showed severely reduced photosynthetic CO2 assimilation (-45.6% of AN390) and substantial buildup of malondialdehyde (MDA) by-product, suggesting the inability to counteract salt-triggered damage. In contrast, A/A25 plants, which had a constitutive enhanced root apparatus, were able to maintain the shoot and root growth under salinity conditions by supporting the maintained photosynthetic performance. No increases in catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities were observed in response to salinity, and MDA levels increased only slightly; indicating that alleviation of oxidative stress did not occur in A/A25 plants. In these plants the increased proline levels could protect enzymatic stability from salt-triggered damage, preserving the photosynthetic performance. The results could indicate that salt stress was vanished by the lack of negative effects on photosynthesis that support the maintained plant growth and increased marketable yield of the grafted plants.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J. Plant Physiol.
          Journal of plant physiology
          1618-1328
          0176-1617
          Apr 1 2016
          : 193
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Departamento de Horticultura, Ctra. Moncada-Naquera km. 4, 5, 46113 Moncada, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: penella_con@gva.es.
          [2 ] Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy. Electronic address: marco.landi@for.unipi.it.
          [3 ] Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy. Electronic address: lucia.guidi@unipi.it.
          [4 ] Universitat Politècnica de València, Departamento de Producción Vegetal, Camino de Vera 14, 46020 Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: sergonne@bvg.upv.es.
          [5 ] Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy. Electronic address: elisa.pellegrini@for.unipi.it.
          [6 ] Universitat Politècnica de València, Departamento de Producción Vegetal, Camino de Vera 14, 46020 Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: asanbau@prv.upv.es.
          [7 ] Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy. Electronic address: damiano.remorini@unipi.it.
          [8 ] Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy. Electronic address: cristina.nali@unipi.it.
          [9 ] Universitat Politècnica de València, Departamento de Producción Vegetal, Camino de Vera 14, 46020 Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: slopez@prv.upv.es.
          [10 ] Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Departamento de Horticultura, Ctra. Moncada-Naquera km. 4, 5, 46113 Moncada, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: calatayud_ang@gva.es.
          Article
          S0176-1617(16)00026-2
          10.1016/j.jplph.2016.02.007
          26918569
          a2cab80c-e81a-4471-8adf-f437864c94fd
          Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

          Antioxidant systems,Capsicum annuum,Chlorophyll fluorescence,Grafting,NaCl stress,Proline

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