Impact of nitrogen supply level and NaCl on the metabolism of Cichorium spinosum L.

M. Chatzigianni, G. Ntatsi, I. Livieratos, K.A. Aliferis, D. Savvas
Stamnagathi (Cichorium spinosum L.) is a native species, harvested for private consumption that has been recently developed as a commercially crop, particularly in the island of Crete. It is considered as a health-promoting vegetable. In this study, two different ecotypes, originating from different regions of Crete, 'Stavros' in Akrotiri and the 'Tavri Mountain' in Sfakia, respectively, were propagated and grown hydroponically. Plants were supplemented with a nutrient solution with a total-N supply of 16 mmol L‑1 combined with two different salinity levels (0.3 and 40 mM). The aim of the present study was to provide insight into the impact of the different salinity levels on the metabolic profile of the two different ecotypes of stamnagathi. For this reason, comparative GC/EI/MS metabolomics combined with bioinformatics analyses were performed for the analysis of the top five fully expanded leaves of plants. More than 160 metabolic features were recorded. Many of the identified metabolites play key roles in plants' physiology (e.g., glucose, fructose, trehalose, etc.), and are also important due to their nutritional value (e.g., carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids). Results confirmed the applicability of GC/EI/MS metabolomics in the assessment of the effects of different salinity levels on the metabolic composition of stamnagathi. The obtained information could be further exploited toward the improvement of cultivation techniques for the hydroponic production of high-quality vegetables with improved dietary value.
Chatzigianni, M., Ntatsi, G., Livieratos, I., Aliferis, K.A. and Savvas, D. (2020). Impact of nitrogen supply level and NaCl on the metabolism of Cichorium spinosum L.. Acta Hortic. 1296, 885-892
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1296.112
ecotypes, metabolomics, proline, carbohydrates, salinity stress

Acta Horticulturae