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NaCl elicitation enhances metabolite accumulation and stress resilience in Inula crithmoides L. shoot cultures: implications for its nutritional and medicinal value

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This study explored the impact of sodium chloride (NaCl) elicitation on the accumulation of primary and secondary metabolites and the oxidative stress responses of Inula crithmoides L. (golden samphire) in vitro shoot cultures. Elicitation involved applying different concentrations of NaCl (0, 50, 100, and 200 mM) for 4 weeks. This was followed by assessing its impact on plant growth, physiological parameters (pigments, hydrogen peroxide content, total soluble sugars and proteins, and proline), and secondary metabolism (phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity, shikimic acid, phenolics, flavonoids, and hydroxycinnamic acids) in the shoots. The extracts were also analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The NaCl elicitation did not affect shoot growth but increased physiological functions such as photosynthesis and oxidative stress management under moderate salinity levels. In addition, NaCl treatments increased the synthesis of soluble sugars and proteins, particularly proline, as well as bioactive phenolics such as gentisic acid, chlorogenic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, and naringenin-7-O-glucoside. The NaCl elicitation in golden samphire shoot cultures offers a significant method for enhancing the production of important nutritional and bioactive compounds. This underscores the species' potential for cultivation in saline environments and provides valuable prospects for its utilization in the health and nutrition sectors.



Halophytes Pigments Proteins Sugars Phenolic compounds Plant tissue culture


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