Seasonal changes of inorganic and organic osmolyte content in three endemic Limonium species of Lake Tuz (Turkey)


Abstract: The levels of inorganic (Na^+, K^+, Ca^+^2, Mg^+^2, Cl^-) and organic (proline, carbohydrates) osmolytes and quaternary ammonium compounds were measured in 3 endemic Limonium Mill. species [L. lilacinum (Boiss. & Bal.) Wagenitz, L. iconicum (Boiss. & Heldr.) Kuntze, and L. anatolicum Hedge] of Lake Tuz in central Anatolia, Turkey. Samples were collected between May and October from plants growing in their natural habitats. Soil samples also were taken from the plant root zone at the time of plant sampling. The results of pH, electrical conductivity (EC) values, and mineral composition in the soil showed seasonal changes. The highest EC and soil Na^+ concentrations were found in the autumn. The seasonal changes in the osmolyte concentrations of plants were found to be dependent on soil properties such as EC, anions, and cations. The investigated plants exhibit different abilities to accumulate proline, inorganic ions, soluble carbohydrates, and quaternary ammonium compounds. Proline, ion, and carbohydrate concentrations were found to be negatively related to EC, Na^+, and Cl^- values of soil. These results show us that each species has its own adaptation mechanism to survive in saline soil. The findings of this investigation are the first reported results based on for these 3 endemic species of Limonium located at Lake Tuz, Turkey.

Keywords: Limonium, halophyte, Lake Tuz, osmolytes, seasonal changes

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