Cuttings of Sesuvium portulacastrum L. (Aizoaceae) were taken from plants cultivated under severe saline conditions. The obtained seedlings were grown on sand and irrigated with nutrient solution over 5 weeks under no (0. mM NaCl), moderate (200. mM NaCl), or high (400. mM NaCl) salinity conditions. A follow-up of gas exchange was performed weekly and pigment levels and patterns of fully expanded leaves were determined after 3 and 5 weeks of treatment. At the end of the 5-week period, immunoblot analysis of the main polypeptides of photosystem I and II was performed with the aim to investigate salt-induced variations in photosystem composition.Net CO2 assimilation rate (Pn) increased under salinity up to 3 weeks of treatment then decreased to reach the value of 0mM-treated plants at the end of the experiment. For stomatal conductance (gs) and intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), the opposite occurred. These results were concomitant with an increase in practically all pigment levels, mainly under high salinity, with the exception of zeaxanthin. The de-epoxidation index (DEPS index) was much lower under saline than non-saline conditions in the 3rd week, indicating light stress in 0mM-treated plants. At the end of the experiment, this index showed much lower values with no significant differences between treatments, which coincided with no significant differences in gas exchange as well. Protein amounts of D1, CP47, and CP43 did not show noticeable variations with salt treatment, whereas LHCII underwent a slight but significant decrease (-15%) at the highest NaCl concentration. LHCI polypeptides were unaffected by the salt treatments, where conversely, the highest concentration induced a significant decrease in PsaA/B amount (-18%).
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