Aim of the present study was to determine differential responses in growth and physiology of tolerant (cv. IGPN 2004) and sensitive (cv. GA 10) cultivars of Niger (Guizotia abyssinica Cass.) using in vitro grown calli under water deficit conditions. The calli were subjected to drought stress using PEG-8000 (–0.16,–0.45,–0.87,–1.42 bar) for 15 d and relative growth rate (RGR), percent tissue water content (% TWC), osmolytes (proline–Pro, glycine betaine—GB, total soluble sugars—TSS) accumulation, malondialehyde (MDA) content as well as antioxidant enzyme activities such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT) were analysed. Our findings showed that RGR and percent TWC was decreased significantly with the intensity of drought stress in both cultivars, but the RGR reduction was least (five folds) in cv. IGPN 2004 than in cv. GA 10 (6.2 folds). In osmolyte accumulation such as Pro and GB, cv. IGPN 2004 was found superior (5.5 and ten folds higher, respectively) to tolerate drought stress than GA 10; however, no change was observed in TSS accumulation. Further, it was noted that cv. IGPN 2004 caused least oxidative damage to the membranes. It also exhibited better SOD, CAT and APX activities and had higher α-tocopherol content. The least reduction in growth and MDA content and higher osmolytes and antioxidant activities in cv. IGPN 2004 revealed more drought stress tolerance at cellular level. It was suggested that increased drought tolerance of cv. IGPN 2004 was coupled with its better maintenance of RGR, percent TWC, reduced lipid peroxidation, more accumulation of osmolytes and higher antioxidant enzymes.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 23, 2017
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