Some rootstocks improve pepper tolerance to mild salinity through ionic regulation
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AutorPenella,Consuelo; Nebauer,Sergio G.; Quinones,Ana; Bautista,Alberto San; Lopez-Galarza,Salvador; Calatayud,Angeles
Grafting has been proposed as an interesting strategy that improves the responses of crops under salinity. In pepper, we reported increased fruit yield of the commercial 'Adige' cultivar under salinity when grafted onto accessions Capsicum chinense Jacq. 'ECU-973' (12) and Capsicum baccatum L. var. pendulum 'BOL-58' (14), whereas no,effect was observed when grafted onto accession Capsicum annuum L var. 'Serrano' (5). We also analysed the physiological and biochemical mechanisms related to the tolerance conferred by these rootstocks. Responses to salinity (40 mM NaCl) were studied in the different plant combinations for 30 days by determining water relations, mineral content, proline accumulation, photosynthetic parameters, nitrate reductase activity and antioxidant capacity. Higher salt tolerance was achieved when the 'Adige' cultivar was grafted onto the 12 genotype, which allowed not only lower Na+ and Cl- accumulation in the scion, but also ion selectivity maintenance, particularly Na+/K+ discrimination. These traits led to a minor negative impact on photosynthesis, nitrate reductase activity and lipid peroxidation in grafted scion leaves. This work suggests that using tolerant pepper rootstocks that maintain the scion's ion homeostasis is a promising strategy to provide salinity tolerance and can consequently improve crop yield. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.