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Physiological and antioxidant responses of germinating Cicer arietinum seeds to salt stress


Cicer arietinum (gram) is an important protein-rich pulse crop in Indian subcontinent, the Mediterranean region, Ethiopia, and Mexico. We studied the effects of different salt concentrations on radicle growth and different markers of oxidative stress, e.g., superoxide radical, MDA, protein carbonyls, as well as antioxidant compounds. Physiological and biochemical parameters were assessed in the radicles of germinating gram seeds after 1 and 7 days of treatments with 15, 30, 45, and 60 mM NaCl. The results showed that salt exerted a stronger effect (17-fold) on radicle length than on their dry weight (5-fold). This growth decrease was accompanied by an excessive (3-fold) accumulation of ROS and resulting protein carbonyl and MDA formation (3–6-fold). As to the responses of antioxidant compounds to salinity of the growing medium, all the enzymatic molecules (SOD, CAT, POX, and APX) showed significant (4–6-fold) reductions in their activities. Our results suggest that under salinity substantially higher amounts of oxidative stress markers (superoxide, MDA, and protein carbonyls) in collaboration with suppression of the ROS detoxification system ultimately led to gram radicle growth inhibition and severe oxidative stress.

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ascorbate peroxidase






phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride


guaiacol peroxidase


superoxide dismutase


thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances


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Correspondence to S. Keshavkant.

Additional information

Published in Fiziologiya Rastenii, 2012, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 232–237.

This text was submitted by the authors in English.

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Keshavkant, S., Padhan, J., Parkhey, S. et al. Physiological and antioxidant responses of germinating Cicer arietinum seeds to salt stress. Russ J Plant Physiol 59, 206–211 (2012).

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  • Cicer arietinum
  • antioxidant compounds
  • salt stress
  • oxidative stress
  • lipid peroxidation
  • superoxide radical