Plant and Soil

, Volume 430, Issue 1–2, pp 171–184 | Cite as

Salicylic acid reduces the accumulation of aluminum in Panax notoginsen root cell wall pectin via the NO signaling pathway

  • Yang Ye
  • Dai Chunyan
  • Guo Lanping
  • Qu Yuan
  • Yang Xiaoyan
  • Liu Diqiu
  • Wang ChengxiaoEmail author
  • Cui XiumingEmail author
Regular Article



Salicylic acid (SA) and nitric oxide (NO) are key signal molecules involved in the reduction of Al accumulation in many plants. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether they could reduce the root content of Al and/or its binding to the root cell wall (CW) fractions in Panax notoginseng, and to investigate the corresponding regulatory mechanisms.


Effects of Al treatments on the endogenous SA and NO contents of P. notoginseng were detected. Exogenous SA and paclobutrazol (PAC, a SA synthesis inhibitor) treatments were conducted to test the effects on endogenous NO content; exogenous sodium nitroprusside (SNP, a NO doner) and 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethyl- imidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxyde (cPTIO, a NO synthesis inhibitor) treatments were conducted to test the effects on endogenous SA content. Pectin methyltransferase (PMT) and pectin methylesterase (PME) activity and the gene expression, pectin methylesterification degree (PMD), pectin content, and the accumulation of Al in roots were also studied under the treatments described above.


Al stress induced a significant increase of the activity and expression of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), and promoted the significant increase of endogenous SA content of P. notoginseng roots. The Al promoted accumulation of endogenous NO could be enhanced by exogenous SA treatment, but was reduced by PAC. Accumulation of endogenous NO that promoted by Al could be enhanced by exogenous SA treatment, but was reduced by PAC treatment. However, SNP or cPTIO treatments had no significant effect on the Al-induced endogenous SA content of P. notoginseng. This showed that NO acted downstream of SA signaling of P. notoginseng under Al stress. Al stress can increase the activity and genes expression of PME in the roots of P. notoginseng, reduce PMD, increase CW pectin content, and thus, the binding capacity of CW pectin to Al was enhanced in P. notoginseng roots. Exogenous SA or SNP both reduced the Al-binding capacity of root CW pectin by decreasing the pectin content, and increased the PMD by inhibiting the genes expression and activity of PME. The effects of PAC or cPTIO on the above-mentioned indicators under Al stress were opposite to that of exogenous SA or SNP treatments.


The Al stress induced accumulation of pectin and the reduction of PMD in the root CW of P. notoginseng could be reversed by the treatments of exogenous SA or SNP, then the Al contents in root CW pectin were reduced. Al stress activated the endogenous SA and NO signaling pathways in P. notoginseng, and NO acted downstream of SA. It showed that the Al-activated NO-SA signaling pathway contributed in the reduction of Al binding to the root under Al stress.


Aluminum P. notoginseng Salicylic acid Nitric oxide Pectin 



Benzoic acid 2-hydroxylase




2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethyl-imidazoline-1-oxyl-3- oxyde


Cell wall


Dry weight


Fresh weight






Isochorismate synthase


Nitric oxide




Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase


Pectin methylesterification degree


Pectin methylesterase


Pectin methylesterase inhibitor


Pectin methyltransferase


Salicylic acid


Sodium nitroprusside



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81460580), Ministry of Science and Technology of Yunnan Province, China (No. 2017ZF014, 2015FB138), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 167358).

Supplementary material

11104_2018_3722_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 21 kb)
11104_2018_3722_MOESM2_ESM.docx (17 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Ye
    • 1
  • Dai Chunyan
    • 1
  • Guo Lanping
    • 2
  • Qu Yuan
    • 1
  • Yang Xiaoyan
    • 1
  • Liu Diqiu
    • 1
  • Wang Chengxiao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cui Xiuming
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Yunnan Provincial Key Laboratory of Panax notoginseng, Key Laboratory of Panax notoginseng Resources Sustainable Development and Utilization of State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Kunming Key Laboratory of Sustainable Development and Utilization of Famous-Region Drug, University based provincial Key Laboratory of screening and utilization of targeted drugs, Faculty of Life Science and TechnologyKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  2. 2.Chinese Medica Resources CenterChina Academy of Chinese Medicinal SciencesBeijingChina

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