The effect of short-term drought stress on the water content, antioxidant system and photosynthetic characteristics was investigated using cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings. The results indicated that polyethylene glycol induced water stress reduced water content in shoots of cucumber seedling after treatment of 36 hours, and caused obvious reductions in net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration and transpiration of leaves. In addition, water stress significantly reduced the photosynthetic pigment content and inhibited photochemical activity, including actual photochemical efficiency, maximal quantum yield of photosystem II photochemistry and coefficient for photochemical quenching. Meanwhile non-photochemical quenching increased. As responses to drought stress, significant increases in electrolyte leakage, malondialdehyde, superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide levels were detected in leaves. The superoxide dismutases, catalase, glutathione reductase and dehydroascorbate reductase activities, protein, ascorbate and glutathione content, all decreased and peroxidases activity increased, while ascorbate peroxidase and monodehydroascorbate reductase activities exhibited different trend under different degree of water stress. Therefore, it can be concluded that water stress strongly disrupted the normal metabolism of leaves and restrained water absorption.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 5, 2017
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