Salt effect on physiological, biochemical and anatomical structures of two Origanum majorana varieties (Tunisian and Canadian)
In this study, we evaluated the salt concentration effect on plant growth, mineral composition, antioxidant responses and anatomical structure of two varieties of Origanum majorana after exposure to NaCl treatment. Our results show an inclusive behaviour of the two varieties, since the majority of sodium was exported and accumulated in their aerial parts. The Canadian variety (CV) appeared relatively more tolerant to salt than the Tunisian one (TV). Transversal section of leaves showed a thickening of dorsal and ventral cuticle, more importantly in CV than in TV, in the presence and in absence of salt. This was accompanied by an increase in the length of palisade cells, and the width of spongy collenchyma lacuna. The stem had a subquadrangular shape in TV and quadrangular in the Canadian variety. At mature stage, the stem pit was reabsorbed in the TV and replaced by a large cavity, whereas it remained unchanged in CV. The relative salt tolerance of the CV was related to: (1) a good selectivity in favour of K+: (2) a strong peroxidase activity and (3) an increase in the lengthening of palisade cell accompanied with an increase of lacunae in spongy parenchyma in CV.
Key words: Origanum majorana, salinity, growth, mineral nutrition, leaves, stems, anatomical, antioxidant.