Plant and Soil

, Volume 445, Issue 1–2, pp 183–198 | Cite as

Salicylic acid alleviates aluminum-induced inhibition of biomass by enhancing photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism in Panax notoginseng

  • Chunyan Dai
  • Lisha Qiu
  • Lanping Guo
  • Sisi Jing
  • Xiaoya Chen
  • Xiuming CuiEmail author
  • Ye YangEmail author
Review Article



Determine whether salicylic acid (SA) can alleviate the inhibitory effects of Al stress on dry matter accumulation in Panax notoginseng, and to investigate the mechanism by which the SA regulates photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.


Effects of SA on the biomass of P. notoginseng and the concentration of Al in leaves under Al stress were evaluated. SA and the scavenger paclobutrazol (PAC, SA synthetic inhibitor) were used to assess the effects of SA on photosynthesis and the metabolism of total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) in P. notoginseng.


SA reduced Al by 13.23% in the leaves of P. notoginseng under Al stress. It also promoted the synthesis of carbohydrates in the leaves and their transport to the roots. Additionally, SA alleviated the Al-induced reduction of chlorophyll (Chl) by upregulating the expression of Chl synthesis genes (CHLM, CHLG, HEMB1, HEMC, and HEME) and downregulating the degradation genes (CLH2 and PPH1). Concomitantly, the rubisco activase (RCA) and rubisco enzyme activities were promoted by upregulating the expressions of the RCA, rbcL, and rbcS genes via treatment with SA, thereby restoring the synthesis and metabolism of TNC. Furthermore, SA attenuated the decrease in photosynthetic capacity and photosynthesis system II photochemistry efficiency in Al-stressed plants. Furthermore, SA significantly reduced the H2O2 concentration by 12.22% under Al stress.


By regulating photosynthesis-related genes and photochemical processes, SA promoted photosynthesis and enhanced leaf carbohydrate synthesis under Al stress. Thus, SA enhanced the production of P. notoginseng biomass, ultimately reducing the inhibitory effects of Al.


Aluminum P. notoginseng Salicylic acid Carbohydrate Photosynthesis 





Intercellular CO2 concentration


Maximal quantum yield of photosystem II


Stomatal conductance


Non-photochemical quenching coefficient




Net photosynthetic rate


Photosystem II


Photochemical quenching coefficient


Rubisco activase


Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


Salicylic acid


Structural carbohydrates


Trichloroacetic acid


Total nonstructural carbohydrates


Transpiration rate


Total soluble carbohydrates


Quantum efficiency of photosystem II



This work was supported by the key project at central government level: the ability establishment of sustainable use for valuable Chinese medicine resources (No. 2060302), Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81960690, 81891014 81460580), Ministry of Science and Technology of Yunnan Province, China (No. 2017ZF014, 2017ZF001).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Supplementary material

11104_2019_4293_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 26 kb)
11104_2019_4293_MOESM2_ESM.docx (344 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 343 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunyan Dai
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Lisha Qiu
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Lanping Guo
    • 7
  • Sisi Jing
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Xiaoya Chen
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Xiuming Cui
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    Email author
  • Ye Yang
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental Science and EngineeringKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  2. 2.Yunnan Provincial Key Laboratory of Panax notoginseng|Kunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Panax notoginseng Resources Sustainable Development and Utilization of State Administration of Traditional Chinese MedicineKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  4. 4.Kunming Key Laboratory of Sustainable Development and Utilization of Famous-Region DrugKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  5. 5.University Based Provincial Key Laboratory of Screening and Utilization of Targeted DrugsKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  6. 6.Faculty of Life Science and TechnologyKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  7. 7.Chinese Medica Resources CenterChina Academy of Chinese Medicinal SciencesBeijingChina

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