24-Epibrassinolide regulates photosynthesis, antioxidant enzyme activities and proline content of Cucumis sativus under salt and/or copper stress

Q Fariduddin, Radwan R A E Khalil, Bilal A Mir, M Yusuf, A Ahmad
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2013, 185 (9): 7845-56
Brassinosteroids have been extensively used to overcome various abiotic stresses. But its role in combined stress of salt and excess copper remains unexplored. Seeds of two cultivars (Rocket and Jumbo) of Cucumis sativus were grown in sand amended with copper (100 mg kg(-1)), and developed seedlings were exposed to salt stress in the form of NaCl (150 mM) at the 30-day stage of growth for 3 days. These seedlings were subsequently sprayed with 0 or 0.01 μM of 24-epibrassinolide (EBL) at the 35-day stage. The plants exposed to NaCl and Cu in combination exhibited a significant decline in fresh and dry mass of plant, chlorophyll content, activities of carbonic anhydrase, net photosynthetic rate and maximum quantum yield of the PSII primary photochemistry followed by NaCl and Cu stress alone, more severely in Jumbo than in Rocket. However, the follow-up treatment with EBL to the stressed and nonstressed plant improved growth, chlorophyll content, carbonic anhydrase activity and photosynthetic efficiency, and further enhanced the activity of various antioxidant enzymes viz. catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase and content of proline at the 40-day stage of growth, and the response of the hormone was more effective in Rocket than in Jumbo. The elevated level of antioxidant enzymes as well as proline could have conferred tolerance to the NaCl- and/or Cu-stressed plants resulting in improved growth, water relations and photosynthetic attributes. Furthermore, antioxidant enzyme activity and proline content were more enhanced in Rocket than in Jumbo cultivar.

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