Plants have to face certain biotic and abiotic stresses during their life and among them; salinity is considered as the most significant stresses that restricts agricultural productivity all over the world. According to several investigations, more than 60 million ha of irrigated land have been damaged by salt1. It is reported that salinity lessens the amount of nutrients significantly in stressed plants2 which ultimately affects growth and development of plant.
In addition, solubility of microelements including copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) gets lower in saline soils. Therefore, plants present in these areas often exhibit deficiency symptoms3. Accordingly, the Cu is known to possess improving effect on plant cell metabolic processes. This metal is also involved as a component of plastocyanin in the photosynthetic electron transport chain4.
Moreover, Zn deficiency declines the production as well as the nutritive value of grain. Furthermore, according to several publications, salinity lessens the transport of Fe from seed to seedling in sunflower as well as Zn transport to the aerial parts5.
Tomato is a vital horticultural commodity. There is a growing interest for the cultivation of tomato in semi-arid region of Cameroon, where soils contain high levels of salts and low available Cu, Fe and Zn.
Considering these facts, researchers decided for designing a novel experiment in order to compare the responses of tomato cultivars exhibiting differences in salt-tolerance on the growth, yield, micronutrients uptake as well as biochemical characteristics under saline conditions for identification of a potential biochemical indicator of early selection of salt-tolerant plants. Moreover, the purpose of this research was to devise strategies to combat with salt stress6.
This research showed that utilization of NaCl significantly reduces the content of Cu, Zn and Fe of plant roots as well as shoots in all tested cultivars but the magnitude differs with respect to their salt-tolerance. However, parameters including growth and yield components were found to be considerably reduced in salt-sensitive cultivars including; Xewel, Mongal, Jaquar as well as Nadira at low salinity level.
While on the other hand, cultivar of tomato “Lindo” exhibited higher accumulation of those microelements as compared to others varieties because of amplified osmotic adjustment through the strongly accumulation of soluble proteins, carbohydrates as well as proline in leaves. Conclusively, these factors can be employed as efficient biochemical indicator of early selection as well as osmotic adjustment ability for salt-tolerant plants.
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