Antioxidative ability and membrane integrity in salt-induced responses of Casuarina glauca Sieber ex Spreng. in symbiosis with N2-fixing Frankia Thr or supplemented with mineral nitrogen

Paula Scotti-Campos, Nuno Duro, Mário da Costa, Isabel P. Pais, Ana P. Rodrigues, Paula Batista-Santos, José N. Semedo, A. Eduardo Leitão, Fernando José Cebola Lidon, Katharina Pawlowski, José C. Ramalho, Ana I. Ribeiro-Barros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The actinorhizal tree Casuarina glauca tolerates extreme environmental conditions, such as high salinity. This species is also able to establish a root-nodule symbiosis with N2-fixing bacteria of the genus Frankia. Recent studies have shown that C. glauca tolerance to high salt concentrations is innate and linked to photosynthetic adjustments. In this study we have examined the impact of increasing NaCl concentrations (200, 400 and 600 mM) on membrane integrity as well as on the control of oxidative stress in branchlets of symbiotic (NOD+) and non-symbiotic (KNO3+) C. glauca. Membrane selectivity was maintained in both plant groups at 200 mM NaCl, accompanied by an increase in the activity of antioxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase and catalase). Regarding cellular membrane lipid composition, linolenic acid (C18:3) showed a significant decline at 200 mM NaCl in both NOD+ and KNO3+ plants. In addition, total fatty acids (TFA) and C18:2 also decreased in NOD+ plants at this salt concentration, resulting in malondialdehyde (MDA) production. Such initial impact at 200 mM NaCl is probably due to the fact that NOD+ plants are subjected to a double stress, i.e., salinity and low nitrogen availability. At 400 mM NaCl a strong reduction of TFA and C18:3 levels was observed in both plant groups. This was accompanied by a decrease in the unsaturation degree of membrane lipids in NOD+. However, in both NOD+ and KNO3+ lipid modifications were not reflected by membrane leakage at 200 or 400 mM, suggesting acclimation mechanisms at the membrane level. The fact that membrane selectivity was impaired only at 600 mM NaCl in both groups of plants points to a high tolerance of C. glauca to salt stress independently of the symbiotic relation with Frankia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalJournal Of Plant Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Actinorhizal plants
  • Antioxidative system
  • Lipoperoxidation
  • Membrane integrity
  • Salinity
  • Symbiosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Antioxidative ability and membrane integrity in salt-induced responses of Casuarina glauca Sieber ex Spreng. in symbiosis with N<sub>2</sub>-fixing Frankia Thr or supplemented with mineral nitrogen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this