Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 713–726 | Cite as

Impact of sea-salt on morpho-physiological and biochemical responses in banana (Musa acuminata cv. Berangan)

  • Purabi Mazumdar
  • Su-Ee Lau
  • Pooja Singh
  • Hossein Mirzaei Takhtgahi
  • Jennifer Ann HarikrishnaEmail author
Research Article


Banana is often grown in coastal-regions, and while known for its sensitivity towards seawater, little is documented on the effect of sea-salt on the growth, physiology and metal homeostasis. Here we report that banana plantlets exposed to sea-salt at extreme (average seawater concentration; 52.7 dS m−1), severe (28.5 dS m−1) or moderate (10.2 dS m−1) salinity levels had reduced root length (2.0–6.0-fold), plant height (1.2–1.6-fold), leaf number (2.0–2.3-fold) and leaf area (3.3–4.0-fold) compared to control plantlets. Degradation of pigments (total chlorophyll: 1.3–12.3-fold, chlorophyll a: 1.3–9.2-fold; chlorophyll b: 1.3–6.9-fold lower and carotenoids: 1.4–3.7-fold lower) reflected vulnerability of photosystems to salt stress. Relative water content showed a maximum decrease of 1.5-fold in salt stress. MDA analysis showed sea-salt exposure triggers 2.3–3.5-fold higher lipid peroxidation. Metal content analysis showed a 73-fold higher Na value from roots exposed to extreme salinity compared to control plantlets. While phenotype was clearly affected, moderate salinity showed no significant alteration of macro (N, P, K and Ca) and micro (Fe, Mn and Cu) metal content. The antioxidant enzymes: SOD (3.2-fold), CAT (1.7-fold) and GR (6-fold) showed higher activity at moderate salinity level compared to control plantlets but lower activity at severe (SOD: 1.3-fold; CAT: 1.5-fold; GR: 2-fold lower) and extreme seawater salinity (SOD: 1.5; CAT: 1.9; GR: 1.3-fold lower). Mild changes in growth and physiology at sea-salt levels equivalent to moderate seawater flooding, indicate that banana will survive such flooding, while extreme seawater inundation will be lethal. This data provides a reference for future salinity-mediated work in banana.


Antioxidant enzymes Banana Lipid peroxidation Metal composition Sea-salt Seawater flooding 



This work was supported by the University of Malaya Research Grant Programme (UMRG: RP005B-13BIO), and CEBAR Research University Grants (RU006-2017 and RU015-2016).

Author Contributions

JAH conceived the study. JAH and PM were involved in the study design. PM, LSE, PS HMT and JAH was involved in data collection, analysis and interpretation. PM and JAH wrote the manuscript. All authors review and approved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in Biotechnology for AgricultureUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Faculty of Water Resources EngineeringRazi University of KermanshahKermanshahIran
  3. 3.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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