GABA Metabolism and MDA Production in Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Seedlings under Salinity and Osmotic Stresses

Zakaria I. Al-Ajlouni1, *, Nisreen A. AL-Quraan2, Hala Y. Al-Saqqar1, Abdul Latief Al-Ghzawi3, Abdel Rahman Al-Tawaha4
1 Department of Plant Production, College of Agriculture, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan
2 Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Science and Arts, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan
3 Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan
4 Department of Biological Sciences, Al Hussein bin Talal University, Maan, Jordan

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 159
Abstract HTML Views: 158
PDF Downloads: 79
ePub Downloads: 31
Total Views/Downloads: 427
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 96
Abstract HTML Views: 68
PDF Downloads: 54
ePub Downloads: 26
Total Views/Downloads: 244

Creative Commons License
© 2024 2024 The Author(s). Published by Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Plant Production, College of Agriculture, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan; Tel: +962 2 7201000, EXT. 22200, Fax: +96227095069; E-mail:



This study examined the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shunt pathway in response to salt and osmotic stresses in three barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes (Acsad176, Athroh, and Rum) in terms of seed germination, seedlings growth, oxidative damage through malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation as an indicator for reactive oxygen species (ROS), GABA metabolite accumulation, chlorophyll level, total proteins, total carbohydrates and the expression of glutamate decarboxylase gene (GAD) analysis.


GABA is a secondary metabolite that modulates nitrogen metabolism, protects against oxidative damage, and cytosolic pH in response to various abiotic and biotic stress in plants.


The effects of salt and osmotic stresses imposed by different concentrations of mannitol, sorbitol, and NaCl on the three barley genotypes were studied. Seed germination, seedling length, fresh weight, and dry mass were recorded. The physiological and biochemical responses as per GABA and MDA accumulation, total chlorophyll, proteins and carbohydrates, and the level of GAD expression were also characterized and determined.


Mannitol, sorbitol, and NaCl treatments decreased seed germination and seedling growth for the three barely genotypes used in this study. MDA concentration was increased in seedlings of all genotypes with increasing NaCl, mannitol, and sorbitol concentrations. Acsad 176 showed high GABA accumulation under NaCl treatment. Mannitol treatment significantly increased GABA accumulation in the Rum genotype. All salt and osmotic treatments decreased chlorophyll a and b and carbohydrate content and significantly increased GAD transcription in all barley genotypes. Salt and osmotic stresses affected the total protein content in all genotypes.


Acsad 176 genotype may adapt to NaCl stress by accumulating carbohydrates more than Athroh and Rum. GABA shunt is a crucial signaling and metabolic pathway facilitating barley's adaptation to salt and osmotic stress. In soil with high salt and osmotic contents, the Acsad 176 genotype is the recommended genotype for cultivation.

Keywords: GABA, GAD, Hordeum vulgare, Metabolism, Salt stress, Osmotic stress.