Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 433–445 | Cite as

Effect of salinity on plant growth and biological activities of Carthamus tinctorius L. extracts at two flowering stages

  • Nidhal Salem
  • Kamel MsaadaEmail author
  • Wissal Dhifi
  • Ferid Limam
  • Brahim Marzouk
Original Paper


In the present study, we were interested in the effect of salt stress on phenolic and carotenoid contents, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of two varieties of Carthamus tinctorius (Jawhara and 104) flowers. For this purpose, C. tinctorius flowers from plants grown under four saline treatments (0, 5, 10 and 15 g/L NaCl) were collected at two development stages. As salinity increased up to 10 g/L, results showed that total phenols, flavonoids, condensed tannins and carotenoid contents increased with salinity. Such variability might be of great importance in terms of valorizing this plant as a source of naturally secondary metabolites. Furthermore, our results showed an enhancement of antioxidant activity which was evaluated by four different test systems (DPPH, β-carotene–linoleic acid, chelating and reducing power assays) with increasing stress severity. Obtained results showed that, for the two varieties, salt effect was more pronounced at post flowering stage than full flowering one. The sensitivity test of the methanolic extracts of the harvested flowers was applied against seven human pathogenic bacteria and three yeast strains. Salinity reduced significantly the antimicrobial activity of flower extracts.


Safflower Gallic acid Jawhara Full flowering stage Salinity Secondary metabolites 



The authors are grateful to Pr. Abderrazek Smaoui for botanic identification and to Pr. Chedly Abdelly (Borj-Cedria Technopol) for antioxidant activity assays.

Conflict of interest

We declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nidhal Salem
    • 1
  • Kamel Msaada
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wissal Dhifi
    • 2
  • Ferid Limam
    • 1
  • Brahim Marzouk
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Bioactive SubstancesBiotechnology Center in Borj-Cedria TechnopolHammam-LifTunisia
  2. 2.UR Ecophysiologie Environnementale et Procédés Agroalimentaires, BiotechPole de Sidi Thabet Université de La ManoubaManoubaTunisia

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