Salinity–induced modulations in the protective defense system and programmed cell death in Nostoc muscorum
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To study the biochemical adaptive responses of the blue green algae Nostoc muscorum to the salinity- induced stress they were exposed to various concentrations (5, 10, 15, 20 or 200 mM) of sodium chloride (NaCl). A dose-dependent inhibition of total protein content showed an adverse effect of NaCl on the growth of N. muscorum. Four-day treatment of NaCl (5–20 mM) progressively increased the content of the total peroxide with subsequent increase of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, proline and total phenol content only up to 10 mM NaCl. Higher concentrations of NaCl caused significant decrease in both the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. Induction of two polypeptides of ~29.10 and 40.15 kD as well as upregulation of many polypeptides as compared to control indicates the induction of SOD and dehydrin-like proteins, which supports the theory of adaptation against the salt stress. Furthermore, adaptation of N. muscorum to lower concentrations (5–20 mM) of NaCl was also confirmed by no fragmentation of DNA while DNA fragmentation indicating programmed cell death (PCD) could only be seen at 200 mM NaCl for 12 hours. We hypothesized that proline may confer a positive role to combat salinity stress and the same was confirmed by treatment of the test blue green algae with exogenous proline (1 and 10 μM). The results exhibited 16% reduction in the level of total peroxides, which is a well known oxidative stress marker in the 10 μM proline-treated NaCl group as compared to direct exposure to NaCl.
KeywordsNostoc muscorum sodium chloride stress total peroxide programmed cell death adaptive response dehydrin
programmed cell death
reactive oxygen species
sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
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