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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 291435, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/291435
Research Article

Differential Responses of Two Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var Italica) Cultivars to Salinity and Nutritional Quality Improvement

1Laboratoire d'Aridoculture et Cultures Oasiennes, Institut des Régions Arides, Route de Djerba Km 22.5, Médenine 4119, Tunisia
2Department of Plant Nutrition, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC), Campus Universitario de Espinardo, Ap. de Correos 164, 30100 Murcia, Spain
3Department of Food Science and Technology, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC), Campus Universitario de Espinardo, Ap. de Correos 164, 30100 Murcia, Spain

Received 2 May 2012; Accepted 30 May 2012

Academic Editors: C. Cilas, C. de Souza, and R. Sarkar

Copyright © 2012 Chokri Zaghdoud et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The comparative responses of two broccoli cultivars (Brassica oleracea var. Italica, cv. Parthenon and cv. Naxos) to a 15 d exposure to different NaCl levels were investigated. Salinity led to increased concentrations of Na+ and Cl ions in both cultivars, a disruption of the endogenous minerals levels in the shoots and roots—that varied with the cultivar and salt concentration—and decreases in the osmotic potential (Ψ𝜋), root hydraulic conductance (L0), and stomatal conductance (𝐺𝑠). The reduced biomass of Naxos at moderate NaCl indicates greater sensitivity to salinity, compared with Parthenon. Parthenon accumulated more soluble sugars, for osmotic adjustment, whereas Naxos accumulated proline, which gave the two cultivars differing nutritional characteristics. The total glucosinolates (GSLs) content was not affected by salinity in Parthenon while it decreased significantly in Naxos as a consequence of the decrease in the indole GSL. However, Naxos accumulated more aliphatic GSLs under salt stress than Parthenon, which confers on this cultivar a greater nutritional value when cultivated under salinity.These results suggest that, at distinct salinity levels, each broccoli cultivar adopts a specific strategy, indicating the crucial role of the genetic background on the organoleptic and nutritional properties that each cultivar acquires.