Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1017–1033 | Cite as

Effect of salinity on osmotic adjustment, proline accumulation and possible role of ornithine-δ-aminotransferase in proline biosynthesis in Cakile maritima

  • Dorsaf Hmidi
  • Chedly Abdelly
  • Habib-ur-Rehman AtharEmail author
  • Muhammad Ashraf
  • Dorsaf MessediEmail author
Research Article


The short time response to salt stress was studied in Cakile maritima. Plants were exposed to different salt concentrations (0, 100, 200 and 400 mM NaCl) and harvested after 4, 24, 72 and 168 h of treatment. Before harvesting plants, tissue hydration, osmotic potential, inorganic and organic solute contents, and ornithine-δ-aminotransferase activity were measured. Plants of C. maritima maintained turgor and tissue hydration at low osmotic potential mainly at 400 mM NaCl. The results showed that, in leaves and stems, Na+ content increased significantly after the first 4 h of treatment. However, in roots, the increase of Na+ content remained relatively unchanged with increasing salt. The K+ content decreased sharply at 200 and 400 mM NaCl with treatment duration. This decrease was more pronounced in roots. The content of proline and amino acids increased with increasing salinity and treatment duration. These results indicated that the accumulation of inorganic and organic compounds was a central adaptive mechanism by which C. maritima maintained intracellular ionic balance under saline conditions. However, their percentage contribution to total osmotic adjustment varies from organ to organ; for example, Na+ accumulation mainly contributes in osmotic adjustment of stem tissue (60%). Proline contribution to osmotic adjustment reached 36% in roots. In all organs, proline as well as δ-OAT activity increased with salt concentration and treatment duration. Under normal growth conditions, δ-OAT is mainly involved in the mobilization of nitrogen required for plant growth. However, the highly significant positive correlation between proline and δ-OAT activity under salt-stress conditions suggests that ornithine pathway contributed to proline synthesis.


Halophyte Organic solutes Osmoregulation δ-OAT activity Salt stress 



This work was supported by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (LR15CBBC02).

Author’s contribution

DH: PhD Scholar conducted the experiment; CA: Professor, Design the experiment and finalize the manuscript; HA: Professor, editing and finalizing manuscript, submission to the Journal on behalf of Drosaf Messedi, handle the manuscript and will responsible for submission of responses to any query; MA: Professor, Editing and finalizing the manuscript; DM: Assistant Professor, conceive and design the experiment, writing the manuscript, the person who won the research grant for this project, corresponding author.


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Copyright information

© Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire des Plantes ExtrêmophilesCentre de Biotechnologie, Technopole de Borj CédriaHammam-LifTunisia
  2. 2.Institute of Pure and Applied BiologyBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  3. 3.Pakistan Science FoundationIslamabadPakistan

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