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Alleviation of salinity stress in broccoli using foliar urea or methyl-jasmonate: analysis of growth, gas exchange, and isotope composition

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Abstract

We studied the effects of foliar application of urea or methyl-jasmonate (MeJA) on the salinity tolerance of broccoli plants (Brassisca oleracea L. var. italica). Plant dry weight, leaf CO2 assimilation, and root respiration were reduced significantly under moderate saline stress (40 mM NaCl) but application of either urea or MeJA maintained growth, gas exchange parameters, and leaf N–NO3 concentrations at values similar to those of non-salinized plants. Additionally, when these two foliar treatments were applied leaf Na+ concentration was reduced compared with control plants grown at 40 mM NaCl. However, at a higher salt concentration (120 mM NaCl), no effect of the foliar applications was found on these parameters. Salinity also decreased leaf δ15N but increased δ13C. Our study shows the feasibility of using foliar urea or MeJA to improve tolerance under moderate saline stress.

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Acknowledgments

Paula Cuadra-Crespo is the recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship from the IMIDA. The authors thank G. Ortuño for his technical assistance. This work has been supported by the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias (INIA), through project RTA2008-00089. Part of this work was also funded by the European Social Fund.

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Correspondence to Francisco M. del Amor.

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del Amor, F.M., Cuadra-Crespo, P. Alleviation of salinity stress in broccoli using foliar urea or methyl-jasmonate: analysis of growth, gas exchange, and isotope composition. Plant Growth Regul 63, 55–62 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10725-010-9511-8

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