, Volume 256, Issue 1, pp 181–191 | Cite as

Insight into salt tolerance mechanisms of the halophyte Achras sapota: an important fruit tree for agriculture in coastal areas

  • Md. Mezanur Rahman
  • Mohammad Golam MostofaEmail author
  • Md. Abiar Rahman
  • Md. Giashuddin Miah
  • Satya Ranjan Saha
  • M. Abdul Karim
  • Sanjida Sultana Keya
  • Munny Akter
  • Mohidul Islam
  • Lam-Son Phan TranEmail author
Original Article


Sapota (Achras sapota), a fruit tree with nutritional and medicinal properties, is known to thrive in salt-affected areas. However, the underlying mechanisms that allow sapota to adapt to saline environment are yet to be explored. Here, we examined various morphological, physiological, and biochemical features of sapota under a gradient of seawater (0, 4, 8, and 12 dS m–1) to study its adaptive responses against salinity. Our results showed that seawater-induced salinity negatively impacted on growth-related attributes, such as plant height, root length, leaf area, and dry biomass in a dose-dependent manner. This growth reduction was positively correlated with reductions in relative water content, stomatal conductance, xylem exudation rate, and chlorophyll, carbohydrate, and protein contents. However, the salt tolerance index did not decline in proportional to the increasing doses of seawater, indicating a salt tolerance capacity of sapota. Under salt stress, ion analysis revealed that Na+ mainly retained in roots, whereas K+ and Ca2+ were more highly accumulated in leaves than in roots, suggesting a potential mechanism in restricting transport of excessive Na+ to leaves to facilitate the uptake of other essential minerals. Sapota plants also maintained an improved leaf succulence with increasing levels of seawater. Furthermore, increased accumulations of proline, total amino acids, soluble sugars, and reducing sugars suggested an enhanced osmoprotective capacity of sapota to overcome salinity-induced osmotic stress. Our results demonstrate that the salt adaptation strategy of sapota is attributed to increased leaf succulence, selective transport of minerals, efficient Na+ retention in roots, and accumulation of compatible solutes.


Halophytes Salinity Ion homeostasis Photosynthesis Proline 



The authors sincerely acknowledge the constructive suggestions of Prof. Dr. Qazi Abdul Khaliq, Department of Agronomy, BSMRAU during manuscript preparation. The authors are also grateful to the Department of Agronomy, BSMRAU for providing the LI-6400XT portable photosynthesis system.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agroforestry and EnvironmentBangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural UniversityGazipurBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyBangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural UniversityGazipurBangladesh
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyBangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural UniversityGazipurBangladesh
  4. 4.Hill Agricultural Research StationRangamati Hill DistrictBangladesh
  5. 5.Plant Stress Research Group & Faculty of Applied SciencesTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  6. 6.Stress Adaptation Research UnitRIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource ScienceYokohamaJapan

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