Role of Ca2+ in drought stress signaling in wheat seedlings

S T Sadiqov, M Akbulut, V Ehmedov
Biochemistry. Biokhimii︠a︡ 2002, 67 (4): 491-7
Plants use complex signal transduction pathways to perceive and react to various biotic and/or abiotic stresses. As a consequence of this signaling, plants can modify their metabolism to adapt themselves to new conditions. One such change is the accumulation of proline in response to drought and salinity stresses. We have studied drought and salinity induced proline accumulation and the roles of Ca2+ (10 mM) and indoleacetic acid (IAA, 0.3 mM) in this response. Subjecting seedlings to both drought (6% polyethylene glycol, PEG) and salinity (150 mM NaCl) stress resulted in a dramatic increase in proline accumulation (7-fold higher than control level). However, the application of Ca2+ along with these stress factors had different effects. Unlike the salinity stress, Ca2+ prevented the drought induced proline accumulation indicating that these stress factors use distinct signaling pathways to induce similar responses. Experiments with IAA and EGTA (10 mM) supported this interpretation and suggested that Ca2+ and auxin participate in signaling mechanisms of drought-induced proline accumulation. Drought and salt stress-induced proline accumulation was compared on salt resistant (cv. Gerek 79) and salt sensitive (cv. Bezostaya) wheat varieties. Although proline level of the first was twofold lower than that of the second in control, relative proline accumulation was dramatically higher in the case of the salt resistant wheat variety under stress conditions.


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