Enhanced salt tolerance of tomatoes by exogenous salicylic acid applied through rooting medium.
OMICS. 2012 Apr ;16(4):200-7. Epub 2012 Mar 14. PMID: 22416884
Unité d'Ecophysiologie et Nutrition des plantes, Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Tunisia.
In Tunisia, like in the other countries of the Mediterranean, tomato is ranked among the important vegetables in the economic sphere. Tunisia ranks as the first consumer of this vegetable in the world. However, tomatoes are exposed to multiple environmental stresses. In particular, salinity is the most stressful limiting factor to productivity. Salt tolerance of the tomato is susceptible to be ameliorated by genetic and physiologic ways. Salicylic acid (SA), a plant phenolic, is now considered as a hormone-like endogenous regulator, and its role in the defense mechanisms against biotic and abiotic stressors has been well documented. So, the aim of this study was to investigate the impact of exogenous application of SA (0.01 mM) on growth, nutritional behavior, and some metabolic parameters (total chlorophyll, soluble sugars, proline, and proteins) of tomato plants cv. Moneymaker exposed to NaCl (100 mM). Our results showed that the application of 0.01 mM SA to tomato plants via root drenching attenuate the depressive effect of salinity on plants. This amelioration results in stimulation of growth and development of plant. Under stress conditions, SA-treated plants exhibited more accumulation of photosynthetic pigments and K(+) contents. Thus, SA induces an increase in soluble sugars in roots and leaves; also, we noted the increase of proteins only in roots. Overall, the adverse effects of salt stress tomato plants were alleviated by the exogenous application of SA at vegetative stage, which upregulated nutrition and the accumulation of some organic solutes and osmoprotectors such sugars, proline, and proteins. So salicylic acid can be greatly used to enhance salt tolerance of tomato plants.