, Volume 247, Issue 2, pp 499–511 | Cite as

Effect of salt stress on fatty acid and α-tocopherol metabolism in two desert shrub species

  • Xiaolong Chen
  • Lijing ZhangEmail author
  • Xiumei Miao
  • Xiaowei Hu
  • Shuzhen Nan
  • Jing Wang
  • Hua FuEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusions

Compared to Artemisia ordosiea Kraschen, a higher content of α-tocopherol in Artemisia sphaerocephala Kraschen under salt stress inhibits the conversion of linoleic acid (C18:2) into linolenic acid (C18:3), maintains cell membrane stability and contributes to higher salt resistance.

Artemisia sphaerocephala Kraschen and Artemisia ordosiea Kraschen are widely distributed in the arid and semiarid desert regions of the northwest of China. Under salt stress, it has been known that α-tocopherol (α-T) improves membrane permeability and maintains Na+/K+ homeostasis; however, the function of α-T in regulating membrane components of fatty acids is unknown. In this study, 100-day-old plants of A. ordosiea and A. sphaerocephala are subjected to various NaCl treatments for 7, 14, and 21 days. Compared to A. ordosiea, A. sphaerocephala has a higher Na+ concentration, higher chlorophyll content and dry weight in all NaCl treatments, but lower relative electric conductivity. The stable unsaturated levels of the lipids in A. sphaerocephala may be attributed to higher level of C18:2. Under 200 mM NaCl treatment, α-T and C18:2 contents in A. sphaerocephala increase significantly, while the Na+, C18:1, C18:3 and jasmonic acid (JA) contents decrease. Moreover, α-T is positively correlated with C18:2, but negatively correlated with C18:3.


Membrane permeability Salt stress α-Tocopherol Unsaturated fatty acid 





Oleic acid


Linoleic acid


Linolenic acid


Fatty acid


Jasmonic acid


Plasma membrane


Polyunsaturated fatty acid



The authors would like to thank Changgui Wan (Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Technology University, USA) and Prof. Zengyu Wang (The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, USA) for the great help in English improving and discussion on possible mechanism. We also thank Haiyan Wen (State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Lanzhou University) for data analysis. This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2014CB138703), National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC0500506), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770763), the Program for Chang Jiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT-17R50), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (lzujbky-2017-54).

Supplementary material

425_2017_2803_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (2.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 Supplemental Fig. S1 % Change over control of C18:2 in A. sphaerocephala (a) and A. ordosiea (b) leaves treated with 50, 100, 150 and 200 mM NaCl for various periods. Values are mean ± SD (n = 5) and bars indicate SD. Different letters within a column indicate significant difference at P < 0.05 (JPEG 2711 kb)
425_2017_2803_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (2.7 mb)
Supplementary material 2 Supplemental Fig. S2 % Change over control of C18:3 in A. sphaerocephala (a) and A. ordosiea (b) leaves treated with 50, 100, 150 and 200 mM NaCl for various periods. Values are mean ± SD (n = 5) and bars indicate SD. Different letters within a column indicate significant difference at P < 0.05 (JPEG 2714 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Key Laboratory of Grassland Livestock Industry Innovation, Ministry of Agriculture, National Demonstration Center for Experimental Grassland Science Education, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and TechnologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

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