Sodium chloride stress induced differential growth, biomass yield, and phytochemical composition responses in the halophytic grass Aeluropus lagopoides (L.)
This study evaluates the growth and biochemical changes in Aeluropus lagopoidesi (L.) Thawaites. induced by different sodium chloride (NaCl) concentrations to understand the effects and tolerance of the plant to salinity regimes. A. lagopoides stolons were grown on Hoagland media in three replicates. At four weeks after planting, 0, 100, 300, and 500 mM of NaCl were added to the media as treatments, and this was repeated at 2-week intervals. Data were collected and analyzed on growth and biological yield of the plants at 3, 6, and 9 days after the final salt stress. Also, sodium, potassium, and calcium ions present in the root and shoot of the treated plants were determined, while the number of salt crystals extruded from the leaf was counted. The amounts of proline, amino acids, and total soluble sugars in response to salt concentrations were evaluated. There was a significant variation in the growth of A. lagopoides in response to the NaCl concentrations. Generally, a concentration of 500 mm adversely affected plant growth and biomass yield. The concentration of sodium ions in the tissue of treated plants increased with NaCl concentration, while the concentration of potassium and calcium ions decreased. Total amino acid and proline in the plant tissue increased with salinity, while soluble sugar increased from 3-6 days but declined remarkably on the 9th day after NaCl applications. The study demonstrated salt stress tolerance in A. lagopoides and suggested its potential as a biotechnological model plant for salt tolerance improvement of economically important crops in high-salinity zones.