Research Article

Exogenous abscisic acid increases antioxidant enzymes and related gene expression in pepper (Capsicum annuum) leaves subjected to chilling stress

Published: November 28, 2012
Genet. Mol. Res. 11 (4) : 4063-4080 DOI: 10.4238/2012.September.10.5

Abstract

To elucidate how physiological and biochemical mechanisms of chilling stress are regulated by abscisic acid (ABA) pretreatment, pepper variety (cv. ‘P70’) seedlings were pretreated with 0.57 mM ABA for 72 h and then subjected to chilling stress at 10°/6°C (day/night). Chilling stress caused severe necrotic lesions on the leaves and increased malondialdehyde and H2O2 levels. Activities of monodehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), dehydroascorbate reductase, glutathione reductase, guaiacol peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, ascorbate, and glutathione increased due to chilling stress during the 72 h, while superoxide dismutase and catalase activities decreased during 24 h, suggesting that chilling stress activates the AsA-GSH cycle under catalase deactivation in pepper leaves. ABA pretreatment induced significant increases in the above-mentioned enzyme activities and progressive decreases in ascorbate and glutathione levels. On the other hand, ABA-pretreated seedlings under chilling stress increased superoxide dismutase and guaiacol peroxidase activities and lowered concentrations of other antioxidants compared with untreated chilling-stressed plants. These seedlings showed concomitant decreases in foliage damage symptoms, and levels of malondialdehyde and H2O2. Induction of Mn-SOD and POD was observed in chilling-stressed plants treated with ABA. The expression of DHAR1 and DHAR2 was altered by chilling stress, but it was higher in the presence than in the absence of ABA at 24 h. Overall, the results indicate that exogenous application of ABA increases tolerance of plants to chilling-induced oxidative damage, mainly by enhancing superoxide dismutase and guaiacol peroxidase activities and related gene expression.

To elucidate how physiological and biochemical mechanisms of chilling stress are regulated by abscisic acid (ABA) pretreatment, pepper variety (cv. ‘P70’) seedlings were pretreated with 0.57 mM ABA for 72 h and then subjected to chilling stress at 10°/6°C (day/night). Chilling stress caused severe necrotic lesions on the leaves and increased malondialdehyde and H2O2 levels. Activities of monodehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), dehydroascorbate reductase, glutathione reductase, guaiacol peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, ascorbate, and glutathione increased due to chilling stress during the 72 h, while superoxide dismutase and catalase activities decreased during 24 h, suggesting that chilling stress activates the AsA-GSH cycle under catalase deactivation in pepper leaves. ABA pretreatment induced significant increases in the above-mentioned enzyme activities and progressive decreases in ascorbate and glutathione levels. On the other hand, ABA-pretreated seedlings under chilling stress increased superoxide dismutase and guaiacol peroxidase activities and lowered concentrations of other antioxidants compared with untreated chilling-stressed plants. These seedlings showed concomitant decreases in foliage damage symptoms, and levels of malondialdehyde and H2O2. Induction of Mn-SOD and POD was observed in chilling-stressed plants treated with ABA. The expression of DHAR1 and DHAR2 was altered by chilling stress, but it was higher in the presence than in the absence of ABA at 24 h. Overall, the results indicate that exogenous application of ABA increases tolerance of plants to chilling-induced oxidative damage, mainly by enhancing superoxide dismutase and guaiacol peroxidase activities and related gene expression.