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Bottle gourd rootstock-grafting affects nitrogen metabolism in NaCl-stressed watermelon leaves and enhances short-term salt tolerance



Bottle gourd rootstock-grafting affects nitrogen metabolism in NaCl-stressed watermelon leaves and enhances short-term salt tolerance



Journal of Plant Physiology 170(7): 653-661



The plant growth, nitrogen absorption, and assimilation in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thunb.] Mansf.) were investigated in self-grafted and grafted seedlings using the salt-tolerant bottle gourd rootstock Chaofeng Kangshengwang (Lagenaria siceraria Standl.) exposed to 100mM NaCl for 3d. The biomass and NO3(-) uptake rate were significantly increased by rootstock while these values were remarkably decreased by salt stress. However, compared with self-grafted plants, rootstock-grafted plants showed higher salt tolerance with higher biomass and NO3(-) uptake rate under salt stress. Salinity induced strong accumulation of nitrate, ammonium and protein contents and a significant decrease of nitrogen content and the activities of nitrate reductase (NR), nitrite reductase (NiR), glutamine synthetase (GS), and glutamate synthase (GOGAT) in leaves of self-grafted seedlings. In contrast, salt stress caused a remarkable decrease in nitrate content and the activities of GS and GOGAT, and a significant increase of ammonium, protein, and nitrogen contents and NR activity, in leaves of rootstock-grafted seedlings. Compared with that of self-grafted seedlings, the ammonium content in leaves of rootstock-grafted seedlings was much lower under salt stress. Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) activity was notably enhanced in leaves of rootstock-grafted seedlings, whereas it was significantly inhibited in leaves of self-grafted seedlings, under salinity stress. Three GDH isozymes were isolated by native gel electrophoresis and their expressions were greatly enhanced in leaves of rootstock-grafted seedlings than those of self-grafted seedlings under both normal and salt-stress conditions. These results indicated that the salt tolerance of rootstock-grafted seedlings might (be enhanced) owing to the higher nitrogen absorption and the higher activities of enzymes for nitrogen assimilation induced by the rootstock. Furthermore, the detoxification of ammonium by GDH when the GS/GOGAT pathway was inhibited under salt stress might play an important role in the release of salt stress in rootstock-grafted seedlings.

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Accession: 036758751

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PMID: 23399406

DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2012.12.013


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