Coronatine enhances drought tolerance via improving antioxidative capacity to maintaining higher photosynthetic performance in soybean

Ling Hao, Yuqiong Wang, Juan Zhang, Yan Xie, Mingcai Zhang, Liusheng Duan, Zhaohu Li
Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology 2013, 210: 1-9
Coronatine (COR), a structural and functional mimic of jasmonates, is involved in a wide array of effects on plant development and defence responses. This study was conducted to explore the role of exogenously applied COR in alleviating the adversities of drought stress in soybean. COR treatment markedly increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes and proline content, and reduced the accumulation of malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide under drought stress. Thus, COR-treated plants had higher leaf relative water content and lower electrolye leakage, which led to higher chlorophyll content, activities of RuBPCase and PEPCase, and net photosynthetic rate compared to control plants exposed to drought. COR also increased maximal efficiency of PS II photochemical reaction and photochemical quenching coefficient, but decreased non-photochemical quenching coefficient. These beneficial effects led to enhanced photosynthetic performance and the translocation of assimilated (14)C which promoted growth and accumulation of dry biomass in COR-treated soybean plants subjected to drought. Interestingly, COR application did not affect the growth and biomass accumulation under well-watered condition. These results suggested the involvement of COR on improving drought tolerance in soybean by modulating antioxidant systems and membrane stability to maintain higher photosynthetic performance.

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