The present study involves analysis of growth, photosynthesis, oxidant (H2O2) accumulation, and antioxidant enzyme activities in Nigella sativa L. as affected by foliar kinetin (KIN) application during salt stress. The test plants were treated with 75 or 150 mM NaCl since germination and sprayed with either water or 10 μM KIN in 25 days after emergence. Salt stress, especially at the higher NaCl concentration, was found to induce a substantial decrease in leaf relative water content and subsequently in leaf area and stomatal conductance; chlorophyll content and δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALA-D) activity were also affected, resulting in the lower net photosynthetic rate and dry matter production. Moreover, H2O2 content increased in the salt-treated plants, concomitant with an increase in superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activities; however, the activity of catalase declined. Meanwhile KIN was found to reduce appreciably the adverse effects of salinity, besides favorably modulating antioxidant enzyme activities and alleviating oxidative stress in the test plants, to result in a higher yield as compared to the untreated stressed plants. Overall, the results indicate an optimization of antioxidant defense mechanisms and physiological processes by KIN and a significant role of exogenous phytohormones in conferring salt tolerance.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: May 3, 2011
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