Physiological effects of the combined stresses of freezing-thawing, acid precipitation and deicing salt on alfalfa seedlings.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Frequent freeze-thaw phenomena, together with widely used deicing salt and intense acid precipitation, often occur in northeastern China, causing damage to various aspects of plants, such as the permeability of biological membranes, osmotic adjustment, and photosystems. Aiming to explore the resistance of alfalfa to freezing-thawing (F), acid precipitation (A) and deicing salt (D), this study used Medicago sativa cv. Dongmu-70 as the experimental material, and the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA), soluble protein, soluble sugars, proline and chlorophyll were evaluated. RESULTS:As the temperature decreased, the MDA content in the seedlings of the group under combined stress (A-D-F) increased and was significantly higher than that of group F (by 69.48?~?136.40%). Compared with those in the control (CK) group, osmotic substances such as soluble sugars and proline in the treatment groups were higher, while the soluble protein content was lower. The chlorophyll contents in the seedlings of the treatment groups were lower than those of the CK group; however, the chlorophyll content displayed a non-significant change during the free-thaw cycle. CONCLUSION:Injury to the permeability of the biological membranes and photosystems of alfalfa results from stress. Moreover, alfalfa maintains osmotic balance by adaptively increasing the potential of osmotic substances such as soluble sugars and proline. Furthermore, the influence of stress from freezing-thawing and deicing salt is highly substantial, but the combined stresses of acid precipitation with the two factors mentioned above had little effect on the plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alfalfa is a high-quality forage cultivated widely in northern China. Recently, the failure of alfalfa plants to survive the winter has caused substantial economic losses. Water management has attracted considerable attention as a method for the potential improvement of winter survival. The aim of this study was to determine whether and how changes in the water regime affect the freezing tolerance of alfalfa. RESULTS:The alfalfa variety WL353LH was cultivated under water regimes of 80 and 25% of water-holding capacity, and all the plants were subjected to low temperatures at 4/0?°C (light/dark) and then -?2/-?6?°C (light/dark). The semi-lethal temperatures were lower for water-stressed than well-watered alfalfa. The pool sizes of total soluble sugars, total amino acids, and proline changed substantially under water-deficit and low-temperature conditions. Metabolomics analyses revealed 72 subclasses of differential metabolites, among which lipid and lipid-like molecules (e.g., fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids, and glycerophospholipids) and amino acids, peptides, and analogues (e.g., proline betaine) were upregulated under water-deficit conditions. Some carbohydrates (e.g., D-maltose and raffinose) and flavonoids were also upregulated at low temperatures. Finally, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses revealed 18 significantly enriched pathways involved in the biosynthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, and glycerophospholipids. CONCLUSIONS:Water deficit significantly enhanced the alfalfa' freezing tolerance, and this was correlated with increased soluble sugar, amino acid, and lipid and lipid-like molecule contents. These substances are involved in osmotic regulation, cryoprotection, and the synthesis, fluidity, and stability of the cellular membrane. Our study provides a reference for improving alfalfa' winter survival through water management.
Project description:Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is an important forage, and salinity is a major stress factor on its yield. In this study, we show that osmotic stress retards alfalfa seedling growth, while ionic/oxidative stress reduces its seed germination. Ethylene treatment can recover the germination rate of alfalfa seeds under salt stress, while ethylene inhibitor silver thiosulfate exacerbates salt effects. ETH reduces the accumulation of MDA and H2O2 and increases POD activity. ETH and ACC improve the salt tolerance of alfalfa by increasing proline content under salt stress. In contrast, STS inhibits alfalfa seed germination by reducing POD activity. NaCl treatment reduces chlorophyll content in alfalfa leaves, while ETH and ACC can increase the chlorophyll content and promote seedling growth. ETH promotes the growth of alfalfa in saline condition by reducing the expression of MsACO and MsERF8 genes, while increases its germination rate by upregulating MsERF11 gene. Silencing of MsETR2, a putative ethylene receptor gene in alfalfa, abolishes ethylene triggered tolerance to salt stress. In summary, we show that ethylene improves salt tolerance in alfalfa via MsETR2 dependent manner, and we also analyze the regulatory mechanism of ethylene during germination of alfalfa seeds under salt stress.
Project description:In the current study, the effects of exogenously applied proline (25 and 50 mM) and low-temperature treatment were examined on the physiochemical parameters in the plants of two cultivars (V1 and V2) of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). The seeds were also exposed to chilling stress at 4 °C before sowing. Plants raised from the seeds treated with low temperature showed reduced plant growth and contents of chlorophyll and carotenoids, but they had significantly increased contents of malondialdehyde, proline, ascorbic acid, total free amino acids, total soluble sugars, and total phenolics, as well as the activity of the peroxidase (POD) enzyme. Cold stress applied to seeds remained almost ineffective in terms of bringing about changes in plant root, hydrogen peroxide, glycine betaine and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) enzymes. The exogenous application of proline significantly increased plant growth, the contents of chlorophyll, carotenoids, proline, ascorbic acid, total free amino acids, phenolics, and total soluble sugars, as well as the activities of SOD, POD, and CAT, but it decreased malondialdehyde content. Overall, foliar application of proline was better than the seed treatment in improving root dry weight, root length, chlorophyll a, carotenoids, glycine betaine, ascorbic acid and superoxide dismutase activity, whereas seed pre-treatment with proline was effective in improving shoot dry weight, shoot length, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, and peroxidase activity in both quinoa cultivars.
Project description:Plant zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) comprise a large protein family and they are mainly involved in abiotic stress tolerance. Although Arabidopsis RING/FYVE/PHD ZFP At5g62460 (AtRZFP) is found to bind to zinc, whether it is involved in abiotic stress tolerance is still unknown. In the present study, we characterized the roles of AtRZFP in response to abiotic stresses. The expression of AtRZFP was induced significantly by salt and osmotic stress. AtRZFP positively mediates tolerance to salt and osmotic stress. Additionally, compared with wild-type Arabidopsis plants, plants overexpressing AtRZFP showed reduced reactive oxygen species (ROSs) accumulation, enhanced superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activity, increased soluble sugars and proline contents, reduced K(+) loss, decreased Na(+) accumulation, stomatal aperture and the water loss rate. Conversely, AtRZFP knockout plants displayed the opposite physiological changes when exposed to salt or osmotic stress conditions. These data suggested that AtRZFP enhances salt and osmotic tolerance through a series of physiological processes, including enhanced ROSs scavenging, maintaining Na(+) and K(+) homeostasis, controlling the stomatal aperture to reduce the water loss rate, and accumulating soluble sugars and proline to adjust the osmotic potential.
Project description:Many environmental stresses cause osmotic stress which induces several metabolic changes in plants. These changes often vary depending on the genotype, type and intensity of stress or the environmental conditions. In the current experiments, metabolic responses of wheat to osmotic stress induced by different kinds of osmolytes were studied under iso-osmotic stress conditions. A single wheat genotypes was treated with PEG-6000, mannitol, sorbitol or NaCl at such concentrations which reduce the osmotic potential of the culture media to the same level (-0.8MPa). The metabolic changes, including the accumulation of proline, glycine betaine (GB) and sugar metabolites (glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose and sucrose) were studied both in the leaves and roots together with monitoring the plant growth, changes in the photosynthetic activity and chlorophyll content of the leaves. In addition, the polyamine metabolism was also investigated. Although all osmolytes inhibited growth similarly, they induced different physiological and metabolic responses: the CO2 assimilation capacity, RWC content and the osmotic potential (??) of the leaves decreased intensively, especially after mannitol and sorbitol treatments, followed by NaCl treatment, while PEG caused only a slight modification in these parameters. In the roots, the most pronounced decrease of ?? was found after salt-treatments, followed by PEG treatment. Osmotic stress induced the accumulation of proline, glycine betaine and soluble sugars, such as fructose, glucose, sucrose and galactose in both the root and leaf sap. Specific metabolic response of roots and leaves under PEG included accumulation of glucose, fructose and GB (in the roots); sucrose, galactose and proline synthesis were dominant under NaCl stress while exposure to mannitol and sorbitol triggered polyamine metabolism and overproduction of maltose. The amount of those metabolites was time-dependent in the manner that longer exposure to iso-osmotic stress conditions stimulated the sugar metabolic routes. Our results showed that the various osmolytes activated different metabolic processes even under iso-osmotic stress conditions and these changes also differed in the leaves and roots.
Project description:Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is an important legume forage crop with great economic value. However, as the growth of alfalfa is seriously affected by an inadequate supply of water, drought is probably the major abiotic environmental factor that most severely affects alfalfa production worldwide. In an effort to enhance alfalfa drought tolerance, we transformed the Arabidopsis Enhanced Drought Tolerance 1 (AtEDT1) gene into alfalfa via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Compared with wild type plants, drought stress treatment resulted in higher survival rates and biomass, but reduced water loss rates in the transgenic plants. Furthermore, transgenic alfalfa plants had increased stomatal size, but reduced stomatal density, and these stomatal changes contributed greatly to reduced water loss from leaves. Importantly, transgenic alfalfa plants exhibited larger root systems with larger root lengths, root weight, and root diameters than wild type plants. The transgenic alfalfa plants had reduced membrane permeability and malondialdehyde content, but higher soluble sugar and proline content, higher superoxide dismutase activity, higher chlorophyll content, enhanced expression of drought-responsive genes, as compared with wild type plants. Notably, transgenic alfalfa plants grew better in a 2-year field trial and showed enhanced growth performance with increased biomass yield. All of our morphological, physiological, and molecular analyses demonstrated that the ectopic expression of AtEDT1 improved growth and enhanced drought tolerance in alfalfa. Our study provides alfalfa germplasm for use in forage improvement programs, and may help to increase alfalfa production in arid lands.
Project description:Moderate salt stress, which often occurs in most saline agriculture land, suppresses crop growth and reduces crop yield. Rice, as an important food crop, is sensitive to salt stress and rice genotypes differ in their tolerance to salt stress. Despite extensive studies on salt tolerance of rice, a few studies have specifically investigated the mechanism by which rice plants respond and tolerate to moderate salt stress. Two rice genotypes differing in their tolerance to saline-alkaline stress, Dongdao-4 and Jigeng-88, were used to explore physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying tolerance to moderate salt stress.Dongdao-4 plants displayed higher biomass, chlorophyll contents, and photosynthetic rates than Jigeng-88 under conditions of salt stress. No differences in K+ concentrations, Na+ concentrations and Na+/K+ ratio in shoots between Dongdao-4 and Jigeng-88 plants were detected when challenged by salt stress, suggesting that Na+ toxicity may not underpin the greater tolerance of Dongdao-4 to salt stress than that of Jigeng-88. We further demonstrated that Dongdao-4 plants had greater capacity to accumulate soluble sugars and proline (Pro) than Jigeng-88, thus conferring greater tolerance of Dongdao-4 to osmotic stress than Jigeng-88. Moreover, Dongdao-4 suffered from less oxidative stress than Jigeng-88 under salt stress due to higher activities of catalase (CAT) in Dongdao-4 seedlings. Finally, RNA-seq revealed that Dongdao-4 and Jigeng-88 differed in their gene expression in response to salt stress, such that salt stress changed expression of 456 and 740 genes in Dongdao-4 and Jigeng-88, respectively.Our results revealed that Dongdao-4 plants were capable of tolerating to salt stress by enhanced accumulation of Pro and soluble sugars to tolerate osmotic stress, increasing the activities of CAT to minimize oxidative stress, while Na+ toxicity is not involved in the greater tolerance of Dongdao-4 to moderate salt stress.
Project description:Although mulberry cultivars Wubu, Yu711, and 7307 display distinct anatomical, morphological, and agronomic characteristics under natural conditions, it remains unclear if they differ in drought tolerance. To address this question and elucidate the underlying regulatory mechanisms at the whole-plant level, 2-month old saplings of the three mulberry cultivars were exposed to progressive soil water deficit for 5 days. The physiological responses and transcriptional changes of PIPs in different plant tissues were analyzed. Drought stress led to reduced leaf relative water content (RWC) and tissue water contents, differentially expressed PIPs, decreased chlorophyll and starch, increased soluble sugars and free proline, and enhanced activities of antioxidant enzymes in all plant parts of the three cultivars. Concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anion (O2 •-), and malonaldehyde (MDA) were significantly declined in roots, stimulated in leaves but unaltered in wood and bark. In contrast, except the roots of 7307, soluble proteins were repressed in roots and leaves but induced in wood and bark of the three cultivars in response to progressive water deficit. These results revealed tissue-specific drought stress responses in mulberry. Comparing to cultivar Yu711 and 7307, Wubu showed generally slighter changes in leaf RWC and tissue water contents at day 2, corresponding well to the steady PIP transcript levels, foliar concentrations of chlorophyll, O2 •-, MDA, and free proline. At day 5, Wubu sustained higher tissue water contents in green tissues, displayed stronger responsiveness of PIP transcription, lower concentrations of soluble sugars and starch, lower foliar MDA, higher proline and soluble proteins, higher ROS accumulation and enhanced activities of several antioxidant enzymes. Our results indicate that whole-plant level responses of PIP transcription, osmoregulation through proline and soluble proteins and antioxidative protection are important mechanisms for mulberry to cope with drought stress. These traits play significant roles in conferring the relatively higher drought tolerance of cultivar Wubu and could be potentially useful for future mulberry improvement programmes.
Project description:Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are widely involved in many adverse conditions among plants. In this study, we isolated a LEA4 gene from alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) termed MsLEA4-4 via a homology cloning strategy. MsLEA4-4 encodes 166 amino acids, and the structural analysis showed that the gene contained five repeating TAQAAKEKTQQ amino acid motifs. There were a large number of ?-helix in MsLEA4-4, and belongs to hydrophilic amino acid. Subcellular localization analysis showed that MsLEA4-4 was localized in the nucleus. The MsLEA4-4 promoter consisted of G-box and A-box elements, abscisic acid-responsive elements (ABREs), photo regulation and photoperiodic-controlling cis-acting elements, and endosperm expression motifs. The MsLEA4-4 overexpressing in Arabidopsis conferred late-germination phenotypes. Resistance of the overexpressed plants to abiotic stress significantly outperformed the wild-type (WT) plants. Under salt stress and abscisic acid treatment, with more lateral roots and higher chlorophyll content, the overexpressed plants has a higher survival rate measured against WT. Compared to those in the WT plants, the levels of soluble sugar and the activity of various antioxidant enzymes were elevated in the overexpressed plants, whereas the levels of proline and malondialdehyde were significantly reduced. The expression levels of several genes such as ABF3, ABI5, NCED5, and NCED9 increased markedly in the overexpressed plants compared to the WT under osmotic stress.
Project description:Water deficit adversely affects the growth and productivity of annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.). The exogenous application of chitosan (CTS) has gained extensive interests due to its effect on improving drought resistance. This research aimed to determine the role of exogenous CTS on annual ryegrass in response to water stress. Here, we investigated the impact of exogenous CTS on the physiological responses and transcriptome changes of annual ryegrass variety "Tetragold" under osmotic stress induced by exposing them to 20% polyethylene glycol (PEG)-6000. Our experimental results demonstrated that 50 mg/L exogenous CTS had the optimal effect on promoting seed germination under osmotic stress. Pre-treatment of annual ryegrass seedlings with 500 mg/L CTS solution reduced the level of electrolyte leakage (EL) as well as the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) and proline and enhanced the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), and ascorbic acid peroxidase (APX) under osmotic stress. In addition, CTS increased soluble sugars and chlorophyll (Chl) content, net photosynthetic rate (A), stomatal conductance (gs), water use efficiency (WUE), and transpiration rate (E) in annual ryegrass seedlings in response to three and six days of osmotic stress. Transcriptome analysis further provided a comprehensive understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms of CTS impact. To be more specific, in contrast of non-treated seedlings, the distinct changes of gene expressions of CTS-treated seedlings were shown to be tightly related to carbon metabolism, photosynthesis, and plant hormone. Altogether, exogenous CTS could elicit drought-related genes in annual ryegrass, leading to resistance to osmotic stress via producing antioxidant enzymes and maintaining intact cell membranes and photosynthetic rates. This robust evidence supports the potential of the application of exogenous CTS, which will be helpful for determining the suitability and productivity of agricultural crops.