Morphological and biochemical responses of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) ecotypes to salinity
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This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of different NaCl concentrations (0, 100 and 150 mM) on the morphological and biochemical parameters of different sainfoin ecotypes 'Kocas', 'Malya,' 'Altinova' and 'Ulas' under controlled conditions. The morphological parameters included seed germination, seedling and root lengths, and seedling fresh and dry weights while the biochemical parameters included chlorophyll and proline contents, lipid peroxidation (MDA), and the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, APX, and GR). The results demonstrated that increase in NaCl concentration caused an overall decrease in morphological parameters and an increase in the biochemical parameters in all ecotypes. The findings showed that among all ecotypes, 'Kocas' had higher chlorophyll and proline content, increased activity of CAT, GR, and APX, and increased fresh and dry weight in response to salt stress. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the evaluation of enzymatic and non-enzymatic defense systems in sainfoin plants under salt stress.