Antioxidant Protection of Photosynthesis in Two Cashew Progenies Under Salt Stress

  •  Anselmo F. da Silva    
  •  Valéria F. de O. Sousa    
  •  Gisele L. dos Santos    
  •  Eugênio S. Araújo Júnior    
  •  Sérgio L. F. da Silva    
  •  Cristiane E. C. de Macedo    
  •  Alberto S. de Melo    
  •  Josemir M. Maia    


The present work evaluated the indicators of photosynthetic efficiency and antioxidative protection in cashew tree seedlings subjected to salinity stress. The study was conducted with seedlings of two advanced dwarf cashew clones (CCP09 and CCP76) subjected to salt stress with increasing doses of NaCl (0, control; 25; 50; 75; 100 mM) in the nutrient solution for 30 days under greenhouse conditions. The variables of gas exchange, CO2 assimilation (PN), stomatal conductance (gS), transpiration (E), intercellular CO2 concentration (CI), photochemical activity, potential quantum efficiency (Fv/Fm), effective quantum efficiency (ΔF/Fm’) of photosystem II (PSII), photochemical quenching (qP), non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) electron transport rate (ETR) as well as the indicators of damage and oxidative protection were measured. Under these conditions, there was an intense accumulation Na+ associated with a reduction in the K+/Na+ ratio in the leaves of both clones in response to salt, with higher values for this ratio in clone CCP09 than in CCP76 the highest concentration of NaCl (100 mM). Salinity reduced PN, gS and E in the two clones evaluated, with lower reductions in CCP09 than in CCP76 at the highest salt dose. Instantaneous carboxylation (PN/CI) and water use (PN/E) efficiencies were strongly restricted by salinity but were less affected in CCP09 than in CCP76. Salinity stress also increased hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels in CCP09, whereas lipid peroxidation decreased in both progenies. The clones presented specific antioxidant responses due to greater enzymatic and non-enzymatic activity in CCP76, in addition to the activity of phenol peroxidase (POX) in CCP09.

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