NaCl-induced stress: physiological responses of six halophyte species in in vitro and in vivo culture [Erratum: Feb. 2020, v.140(2), p.469]
To investigate the mechanisms underlying salt tolerance, physiological parameters of six halophyte species [Vitex rotundifolia L., Clerodendrum inerme (L.) Gaertn, Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene, Scaevola sericea Vahl, Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) Nichols, and Dracaena cambodiana Pierre ex Gagn] under NaCl stress in in vitro and in vivo culture tests were examined. Membership function analysis and cluster analysis divided the six species, based on their salt tolerance level, into three groups: Group 1 (highly salt tolerant) included C. inerme, A. bettzickiana and S. sericea; Group 2 (moderately salt tolerant) included P. nodiflora; Group 3 (weakly salt tolerant) included V. rotundifolia and D. cambodiana. In response to in vitro NaCl stress, all six species showed a significant increase in the activities of antioxidant enzymes. NaCl stress enhanced free proline content in the leaves of all six species. CAT, SOD activity and proline accumulation were significantly correlated with the growth of C. inerme, P. nodiflora and A. bettzickiana under in vitro NaCl treatment. We conclude that NaCl-tolerant plants may suffer slight damage within a certain salt concentration, as evidenced by the activities of antioxidant enzymes and the accumulation of free proline.