Original Article


, Volume 250, Issue 2, pp 585-600

First online:

Reactive oxygen species, ascorbate–glutathione pool, and enzymes of their metabolism in drought-sensitive and tolerant indica rice (Oryza sativa L.) seedlings subjected to progressing levels of water deficit

  • Samantha PyngropeAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Banaras Hindu University
  • , Kumari BhoomikaAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Banaras Hindu University
  • , R. S. DubeyAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Banaras Hindu University Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Water deficit for rice is a worldwide concern, and to produce drought-tolerant varieties, it is essential to elucidate molecular mechanisms associated with water deficit tolerance. In the present study, we investigated the differential responses of nonenzymatic antioxidants ascorbate (AsA), glutathione (GSH), and their redox pool as well as activity levels of enzymes of ascorbate–glutathione cycle in seedlings of drought-sensitive rice (Oryza sativa L.) cv. Malviya-36 and drought-tolerant cv. Brown Gora subjected to water deficit treatment of −1.0 and −2.1 MPa for 24–72 h using PEG-6000 in sand cultures. Water deficit caused increased production of reactive oxygen species such as O2, H2O2, and HO⋅ in the tissues, and the level of production was higher in the sensitive than the tolerant cultivar. Water deficit caused reduction in AsA and GSH and decline in their redox ratios (AsA/DHA and GSH/GSSG) with lesser decline in tolerant than the sensitive seedlings. With progressive level of water deficit, the activities of monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and glutathione transferase increased in the seedlings of both rice cultivars, but the increased activity levels were higher in the seedlings of drought-tolerant cv. Brown Gora compared to the sensitive cv. Malviya-36. Greater accumulation of proline was observed in stressed seedlings of tolerant than the sensitive cultivar. In-gel activity staining of APX revealed varying numbers of their isoforms and their differential expression in sensitive and tolerant seedlings under water deficit. Results suggest that an enhanced oxidative stress tolerance by a well-coordinated cellular redox state of ascorbate and glutathione in reduced forms and induction of antioxidant defense system by elevated activity levels of enzymes of ascorbate–glutathione cycle is associated with water deficit tolerance in rice.


Ascorbate Glutathione Proline Water deficit Rice Oryza sativa L.