Effect of salinity on growth, leaf-phenolic content and antioxidant scavenging activity in Cynara cardunculus L.

  • Falleh Hanen
  • Riadh Ksouri
  • Wided Megdiche
  • Nejla Trabelsi
  • Mondher Boulaaba
  • Chedly Abdelly


Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon) is a medicinal plant widespread in arid and semi-arid regions where high salinity frequently occurs. Cardoon leaves are known for their high content of natural bioactive molecules, notably polyphenols, that exhibit pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, antibacterial, and metal chelating activity. We studied the effect of different salt concentrations on plant growth, phenolic content and superoxide scavenging activity in locally grown C. cardunculus L. leaves (El Jem locality). No significant effect on leaf growth (leaf biomass, length and number) was found at moderate salinity (25—50 mM NaCl). However, these parameters were severely reduced (-30 to -90% as compared to the control) at 150 mM NaCl. Leaf phenolic content was significantly increased at 25-50 mM NaCl, and decreased at 150 mM NaCl. The superox-ide anion scavenging capacity of leaf extracts was stimulated by salt treatment, with a maximum at the highest NaCl level. Our findings indicate that the two studied characteristics of C. cardunculus leaves (polyphenol content and O2- quenching capacity) were not modified in parallel with increasing salinity, and that only the polyphenol content was correlated with leaf growth.


Scavenge Activity Phenolic Content Leaf Extract Total Phenolic Content Salt Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Falleh Hanen
    • 1
  • Riadh Ksouri
    • 1
  • Wided Megdiche
    • 1
  • Nejla Trabelsi
    • 1
  • Mondher Boulaaba
    • 1
  • Chedly Abdelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’ Adaptation des Plantes aux Stress AbiotiquesCentre de Biotechnologie à la Technopole de Borj Cédria (CBBC)Hammam-lifTunisia

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