Physiological and metabolic effects of 5-aminolevulinic acid for mitigating salinity stress in creeping bentgrass

Zhimin Yang, Zuoliang Chang, Lihong Sun, Jingjin Yu, Bingru Huang

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32 Scopus citations


The objectives of this study were to determine whether foliar application of a chlorophyll precursor, 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), could mitigate salinity stress damages in perennial grass species by regulating photosynthetic activities, ion content, antioxidant metabolism, or metabolite accumulation. A salinity-sensitive perennial grass species, creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), was irrigated daily with 200 mM NaCl for 28 d, which were foliar sprayed with water or ALA (0.5 mg L-1) weekly during the experiment in growth chamber. Foliar application of ALA was effective in mitigating physiological damage resulting from salinity stress, as manifested by increased turf quality, shoot growth rate, leaf relative water content, chlorophyll content, net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate. Foliar application of ALA also alleviated membrane damages, as shown by lower membrane electrolyte leakage and lipid peroxidation, which was associated with increases in the activities of antioxidant enzymes. Leaf content of Na+ was reduced and the ratio of K+/Na+ was increased with ALA application under salinity stress. The positive effects of ALA for salinity tolerance were also associated with the accumulation of organic acids (α-ketoglutaric acid, succinic acid, and malic acid), amino acids (alanine, 5-oxoproline, aspartic acid, and γ -aminobutyric acid), and sugars (glucose, fructose, galactose, lyxose, allose, xylose, sucrose, and maltose). ALA-mitigation of physiological damages by salinity could be due to suppression of Na+ accumulation and enhanced physiological and metabolic activities related to photosynthesis, respiration, osmotic regulation, and antioxidant defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e116283
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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