African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6091

Full Length Research Paper

Osmotic stress in Chenopodium quinoa Willd.: Variations in osmoprotectants at different phenological stages

Jose Delatorre-Herrera
  • Jose Delatorre-Herrera
  • Facultad de Recursos Naturales Renovables, Universidad Arturo Prat, PO Box 121, Iquique, Chile.
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Javier Rojas-Urrutia
  • Javier Rojas-Urrutia
  • Facultad de Recursos Naturales Renovables, Universidad Arturo Prat, PO Box 121, Iquique, Chile.
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Leonel E. Rojo
  • Leonel E. Rojo
  • Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Química y Biología, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Av. Libertador Bernardo O´Higgins 3363, Santiago, Chile.
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Brittany L. Graf
  • Brittany L. Graf
  • Department of Plant Biology, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.
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  •  Received: 23 August 2018
  •  Accepted: 04 January 2019
  •  Published: 07 February 2019

Abstract

Chenopodium quinoa Willd. is an edible crop plant adapted to the climatic conditions of the South American Andes, where it thrives under extreme environmental conditions such as saline soils, drought, high UV radiation and broad temperature fluctuations. The prolonged exposure of this crop to high salinity and low relative humidity has promoted the development of efficient mechanisms to retain water within the intracellular compartments and avoid desiccation, including accumulation of osmoprotectants. In this study, the effect of osmotic stress (250 mM KCl) was evaluated on osmolyte accumulation at different phenological stages of quinoa growth (branched, panicle, flowering) compared to control (0 mM KCl). The osmotic stimulus increased the concentrations of proline, glycine betaine, sucrose, fructose, glucose, and trehalose two- to seven-fold compared to a low salinity conditions. This is the first report to show significant increase in trehalose in response to osmotic disturbance at three different phenological stages of quinoa growth, opening a new avenue to explore the protective role of trehalose against osmotic-induced damage in this crop.

Key words: Compatible solutes, osmotic stress, quinoa, phenology.