Improving Salt Stress Resistance in Wheat Seedlings with Trehalose and Mannitol

Jim Crocker
31st May, 2024

Improving Salt Stress Resistance in Wheat Seedlings with Trehalose and Mannitol

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study was conducted on wheat seedlings of the commercial variety Sakha 94 to explore salt resistance
  • Pre-soaking wheat grains in trehalose or mannitol improved salt stress tolerance in seedlings
  • Trehalose and mannitol treatments increased antioxidant enzyme activities, reducing cell damage under salt stress
Salinity stress presents a significant challenge for agriculture, particularly in regions prone to high salt levels in soil. This stress adversely affects plant growth and productivity, necessitating effective solutions to enhance crop resilience. A recent study by researchers at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University[1] explored the potential of trehalose and mannitol in inducing salt resistance in wheat seedlings, specifically the commercial variety Sakha 94. The study's methodology involved pre-soaking wheat grains in 10 mM solutions of either trehalose or mannitol, with a control group soaked in distilled water. These grains were then cultivated in sandy soil and divided into two subgroups: one irrigated with 150 mM NaCl (salt stress condition) and the other with tap water (control). The results demonstrated notable changes in the biochemical and physiological responses of the wheat seedlings under these treatments. Under salt stress, the content of phenols in wheat seedlings increased, while flavonoids decreased. Trehalose and mannitol treatments resulted in a slight increase in total phenols and a significant elevation in flavonoid levels in salt-stressed seedlings. These compounds play crucial roles in plant defense mechanisms, suggesting that trehalose and mannitol help mitigate the adverse effects of salinity. Additionally, salt stress induced lipid peroxidation, a process that damages cell membranes, but this was reduced by trehalose and mannitol treatments. This reduction is linked to the enhanced activities of antioxidant enzymes such as guaiacol peroxidase (G-POX), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT), which are critical in neutralizing reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated under stress conditions. Interestingly, while G-POX activity remained unchanged, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity decreased under salt stress with trehalose and mannitol treatments, indicating a complex interaction in the plant's stress response. The study also utilized molecular docking to confirm the interaction of trehalose and mannitol with peroxidase and ascorbate peroxidase enzymes. This interaction likely enhances the enzymes' activities, contributing to improved stress tolerance. Furthermore, an increase in phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity was observed in salt-stressed seedlings, indicating an upregulation of phenol biosynthesis pathways, which are vital for plant defense. These findings align with previous research on the impact of salinity on plant growth and the potential benefits of various treatments. For instance, a study on cowpeas[2] demonstrated that salicylic acid (SA) treatment improved salt stress tolerance by enhancing morphological and physiological attributes. Similarly, folic acid (FA) application in snap beans[3] showed increased growth parameters and reduced oxidative damage under salinity stress, which was attributed to the upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and stress-responsive genes. Moreover, the broader implications of soil salinity on agricultural productivity and soil degradation have been well-documented. Accurate monitoring and prediction of soil salinity trends, as explored in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan[4], are essential for developing sustainable agricultural practices and effective soil management strategies. In conclusion, the study by Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University provides compelling evidence that pre-soaking wheat grains in trehalose or mannitol can significantly enhance salinity stress tolerance. This is achieved through the modulation of antioxidant defense enzymes and phenol biosynthesis. These findings contribute to the growing body of research on mitigating salinity stress in crops, offering practical solutions for improving agricultural productivity in saline-prone regions.

AgricultureBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Enhancing salt stress tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum) seedlings: insights from trehalose and mannitol

Published 30th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Effect of Salt Stress and Foliar Application of Salicylic Acid on Morphological, Biochemical, Anatomical, and Productivity Characteristics of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) Plants.

3) Folic Acid Confers Tolerance against Salt Stress-Induced Oxidative Damages in Snap Beans through Regulation Growth, Metabolites, Antioxidant Machinery and Gene Expression.

4) Assessment of Soil Salinity Changes under the Climate Change in the Khorezm Region, Uzbekistan.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙