African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6324

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of combined salt and flooding stresses on the growth and physiological behavior of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

Hajer Sghaier
  • Hajer Sghaier
  • UR d’Ecologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université Tunis El Manar, Campus Universitaire Farhat Hached, 1060 Tunis, Tunisia.
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Achref Aloui
  • Achref Aloui
  • Institut Supérieur des Sciences et Technologies de l’Environnement de Borj Cedria, Université de Carthage, BP-1003, Hammam-Lif 2050, Tunisia.
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Ayda Khadri
  • Ayda Khadri
  • UR d’Ecologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université Tunis El Manar, Campus Universitaire Farhat Hached, 1060 Tunis, Tunisia.
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Samira Aschi-Smiti
  • Samira Aschi-Smiti
  • UR d’Ecologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université Tunis El Manar, Campus Universitaire Farhat Hached, 1060 Tunis, Tunisia.
  • Google Scholar
Renaud Brouquisse
  • Renaud Brouquisse
  • UMR INRAE 1355, CNRS 7254, Université Nice Côte d’Azur, Institut Sophia Agrobiotech, 06903 Sophia Antipolis cedex, France.
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  •  Received: 04 March 2020
  •  Accepted: 22 April 2020
  •  Published: 30 June 2020

Abstract

The present work focused on evaluation of the physiological and metabolic behavior of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L., var. Siriver), when faced with two important ecosystems constraints, namely salinity and flooding-associated hypoxia. After germination, seedlings in symbiosis with Sinorhizobium meliloti were grown on different salt concentrations (0, 20 and 50 mM NaCl). At four weeks post-germination, plants were submitted to a five-day long flooding treatment and then analyzed for various physiological (growth, biomass) and biochemical (proteins, chlorophylls, ions, proline) parameters. Our results showed that when M. sativa was cultured on moderate (20 mM NaCl) or average (50 mM NaCl) salt stress, the classical mechanisms of stress response (ions and proline accumulation) are set up and the growth (FW, DW, growth of aerial parts) was moderately affected by salt. In a situation of average salt stress (50 mM NaCl), the combined salinity and short-term flooding led to an early alteration of the photosynthetic machinery and a modification of ions and proline contents in the leaves.

Key words: Chlorophyll, hypoxia, legume, NaCl, proline, salinity.