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Metabolic profiles and some physiological traits of three rice cultivars differing in salinity tolerance under salinity stress at the germination stage

Thitiwan Jumpa1, Jutarop Phetcharaburanin2, Manida Suksawat2, Kunlaya Pattanagul3, Wattana Pattanagul1*

1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002 Thailand

2Department of Systems Biosciences and Computational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002 Thailand

3Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, 40002 Thailand


This study aimed to investigate salinity’s impact on the germination process and the metabolic profile of germinated seedlings in three rice cultivars known for their varying levels of salinity tolerance. The seeds of three rice cultivars, KDML105 (salt-sensitive), IR29 (salt-sensitive), and Pokkali (salt-tolerant), were germinated in two different treatments: distilled water and a 40 mM NaCl solution. Salinity delayed seed germination and caused root shape abnormalities. The root length of all cultivars was significantly decreased by salinity; however, Pokkali showed the highest root length among these cultivars. Salinity also decreased total soluble sugar, glucose, and fructose content, while starch content was unaffected. Na+/K+ ratio in root and shoot was significantly increased in all cultivars; however, the increase was much lower in the tolerance cultivar. Metabolic profiles revealed several biomarkers of the salt stress response among cultivars and between the control and stressed groups. Gamma-aminobutyric acid was increased in all cultivars. Citric acid, L-lysine, and L-valine were reduced, while uracil was increased in KDML105. L-lysine, succinic acid, and L-methionine were decreased, while adenine was increased in IR29. Oxalacetic acid, L-proline, and urea increased while melatonin decreased in Pokkali.


Keywords: Metabolic profiles, Physiological traits, Rice cultivars, Pokkali, Salinity stress


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