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Interactive effects of salinity and proline on rice at the ultrastructural level

Han-Jing Sha, Wen-Cheng Hu, Hui-Lin Chang, Yan Jia, Hua-Long Liu, Jing-Guo Wang, De-Tang Zou and Hong-Wei Zhao

The effect of foliar application of proline on the ultrastructure of rice leaves under normal and salt stress conditions was investigated. Thirty-five days old rice seedlings were transplanted into soil with different levels of salinity (0, 50, 100 mM NaCl in the soil) for 20 days, and then the leaves of fifty-five days old seedling were sprayed with proline (0, 15, 30 mM) about 10 ml plant-1 once per day for two consecutive days. Three days later, leaf samples were collected for ultrastructure under normal and salt stress conditions. The results showed that salt stress-induced alterations of the ultrastructure of chloroplasts and vascular tissues. Under normal growth conditions, excessive concentrations of proline (30 mM) induced damage of chloroplast ultrastructure, but the two concentrations of proline did not apparently change the vascular tissue. Compared with salt stress alone, exogenous proline markedly suppressed the swelling of chloroplasts, maintained a well-preserved internal lamellar system in the chloroplasts, and apparently increased the number of mitochondria in sieve tube and companion cells under salt stress. The role of foliar application of 30 mM proline in protecting the mitochondria under salt stress was greater than 15 mM proline. These results indicated that the protective role of proline at the ultrastructural level in rice depended on the proline concentration and salt level

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