Salinity stress improves antioxidant potential by modulating physio-biochemical responses in Moringa oleifera Lam

Sci Rep. 2023 Feb 18;13(1):2895. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-29954-6.


Moringa oleifera Lam. is a common edible plant, famous for several nutritional and therapeutic benefits. This study investigates the salt -induced modulations in plant growth, physio-biochemical responses, and antioxidant performance of M. oleifera grown under 0, 50, and 100 mM NaCl concentrations. Results showed that the plant effectively managed moderate salinity (50 mM NaCl) by maintaining succulence, weight ratios, and biomass allocation patterns of both shoot and root with minimal reduction in dry biomass. However, high salinity (100 mM NaCl) remarkably declined all growth parameters. The plant accumulated more Na+ and Cl-, while less K+ under salinity as compared to the control. Consequently, osmotic potentials of both root and leaf decreased under salinity, which was corroborated by the high amount of proline and soluble sugars. Increased level of H2O2 with significantly unchanged membrane fluidity indicating its role in perceiving and managing stress at moderate salinity. In addition, increased activities of superoxide dismutase, and catalase, with increased glutathione and flavonoid contents suggest an integrated participation of both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant components in regulating ROS. On the other hand, high salinity caused an outburst of ROS indicated by high H2O2, MDA, and electrolyte leakage. As a response, moringa drastically increased the activities of all antioxidant enzymes and contents of antioxidant molecules including ascorbic acid, glutathione, total phenols, and flavonoids with high radical scavenging and reducing power capacities. However, a considerable amount of energy was used in such management resulting in a significant growth reduction at 100 mM NaCl. This study suggests that moringa effectively resisted moderate salinity by modulating physio-biochemical attributes and effectively managing ion toxicity and oxidative stress. Salt stress also enhanced the medicinal potentials of moringa by increasing the contents of antioxidant compounds including ascorbic acid, glutathione, total phenols, and flavonoids and their resulting activities. It can be grown on degraded/ saline lands and biomass of this plant can be used for edible and medicinal purposes, besides providing other benefits in a global climate change scenario.

PMID:36807545 | PMC:PMC9938910 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-29954-6


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