Plant and Soil

, Volume 179, Issue 2, pp 261–268 | Cite as

Flooding-induced membrane damage, lipid oxidation and activated oxygen generation in corn leaves

  • Bin Yan
  • Qiujie Dai
  • Xiaozhong Liu
  • Shaobai Huang
  • Zixia Wang


Flooding effects on membrane permeability, lipid peroxidation and activated oxygen metabolism in corn (Zea mays L.) leaves were investigated to determine if activated oxygens are involved in corn flooding-injury. Potted corn plants were flooded at the 4-leaf stage in a controlled environment. A 7-day flooding treatment resulted in a significant increase in chlorophyll breakdown, lipid peroxidation (malondialdehye content), membrane permeability, and the production of superoxide (O 2 - ) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in corn leaves. The effects were much greater in older leaves than in younger ones. Spraying leaves with 8-hydroxyquinoline (an O 2 - scavenger) and sodium benzoate (an .OH scavenger) reduced the oxidative damage and enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. A short duration flooding treatment elevated the activities of SOD, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase (AP), and glutathione reductase (GR), while further flooding significantly reduced the enzyme activities but enhanced the concentrations of ascorbic acid and reduced form glutathione (GSH). It was noted that the decline in SOD activity was greater than that in H2O2 scavengers (AP and GR). The results suggested that O 2 - induced lipid peroxidation and membrane damage, and that excessive accumulation of O 2 - is due to the reduced activity of SOD under flooding stress.

Key words

activated oxygen activated oxygen scavenging system flooding lipid peroxidation membrane injury Zea mays 



ascorbate peroxidase


ascorbic acid




sodium diethyldithiocarbamate


hydrogen peroxide




glutathione reductase


reduced form glutathione






hydroxyl radical


sodium benzoate


superoxide dismutase


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arakawa N, Tsutsumi K, Sanceda NG, Kurata T and Inagaki I 1981 A rapid and sensitive method for the determination of ascorbic acid using 4,7-dipheny-1, 10-penanthroline. Agric. Biol. Chem. 45, 1289–1290.Google Scholar
  2. Bors W, Saran M and Michael C 1982 Assays of oxygen radicals: Methods and mechanisms. In Superoxide Dismutase, Vol. II. Ed. L W Oberley. p.25. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA.Google Scholar
  3. Bowler C, Montagu M V and Inze D 1992 Superoxide dismutase and stress tolerance. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Bol. 43, 83–116.Google Scholar
  4. Chance B and Maehly A C 1955 Assay of catalase and peroxidase. In Methods of Enzymology, Vol. II Eds. S P Colowick and N O Kapalan. p 764. Academic Press, New York, USA.Google Scholar
  5. Clare D A, Rabinowitch H D and Fridovich I 1984 Superoxide dismutase and chilling injury in Chlorella ellipsoidea. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 231, 158–163.Google Scholar
  6. Dhandsa R S and Matowe W 1981 Drought tolerance in two mosses: correlated with enzymatic defense against lipid peroxidation. J. Exp. Bot. 32, 79–91.Google Scholar
  7. Ellman G L 1959 Tissue sulfhydryl groups. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 82, 70–77.Google Scholar
  8. Elstner E F 1982 Oxygen activation and oxygen toxicity. Annu. Rev. Plant. Physiol. 33, 73–96.Google Scholar
  9. Furasawa I, Tanaka K and Thanutomy P 1984 Paraquat resistant tobacco calluses with enhanced superoxide dismutase activity. Plant Cell. Physiol. 25, 1247–1254.Google Scholar
  10. Halliwell B 1984 Oxidative damage, lipid peroxidation and antioxidant protection in chloroplasts. Chem. Phys. Lipids 44, 327–340.Google Scholar
  11. Halliwell B and Gutteridge J M C 1989 Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine. 2nd ed. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  12. Heath R L and Packer L 1968 Photoperoxidation in isolated chloroplasts. I. Kinetics and stoichiometry of fatty acid peroxidation. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 125, 189–198.Google Scholar
  13. Hodgson R A J and Raison J K 1991 Superoxide production by thylakoids during chilling and its implication in the susceptibility of plants to chilling-induced photoinhibition. Planta 183, 222–228.Google Scholar
  14. Hunter M I S, Hetherington A M and Crawford R M M 1983 Lipid peroxidation-A factor in anoxia intolerance in Iris species. Phytochemistry 22, 1145–1147.Google Scholar
  15. Hurng W P and Kao C H 1994 Lipid peroxidation and antioxidative enzymes in senescing tobacco leaves during post-flooding. Plant Sci. 96, 41–44.Google Scholar
  16. Jackson M B and Drew M C 1984 Effect of flooding on growth and metabolism of herbaceous plants. In Flooding and Plant Growth. Ed. T T Kozlowski. pp 47–128. Academic Press, London, UK.Google Scholar
  17. Li J K, Wang Z L and Wang Z X 1991 Effects of active oxygen scavengers on the activities of protective enzymes in waterlogged corn plants. Jiangsu J. Agric. Sci. 7, 23–28.Google Scholar
  18. Nakano Y and Asada K 1981 Hydrogen peroxide is scavenged by a ascorbate-specific peroxidase in spinach chloroplasts. Plant Cell Physiol. 22, 867–880.Google Scholar
  19. Pastori G M and Trippi V S 1993 Antioxidative protection in a drought-resistant maize strain during leaf senescence. Physiol. Plant. 87, 227–231.Google Scholar
  20. Patterson B D, MaCrae E A and Ferguson I B 1984 Estimation of hydrogen peroxide in plant extracts using titanium (IV). Ann. Biochem. 139, 487–492.Google Scholar
  21. Price A H, Atherton N M and Hendry G A F 1989 Plants under drought-stress generated activated oxygen. Free Radical Res. Commun. 8, 61–66.Google Scholar
  22. Salin M L 1987 Toxic oxygen species and protective system of the chloroplast. Physiol. Plant. 72, 681–689.Google Scholar
  23. Schneider K and Schlegel H G 1981 Production of superoxide radical by soluble hydrogenase from Alcaligenes eutrophus H16. Biochem. J. 193, 99–107.Google Scholar
  24. Schoner S and Krause G H 1990 Protective systems against active oxygen species in spinach: responses to cold acclimation in excess light. Planta 180, 383–389.Google Scholar
  25. Simon E W 1974 Phospholipids and plant membrane permeability. New Phytol. 73, 377–420.Google Scholar
  26. Smirnoff N and Colombé S V 1988 Drought influences the activity of enzymes of the chloroplast hydrogen peroxide scavenging system. J. Exp. Bot. 39, 1097–1108.Google Scholar
  27. Stewart R R C and Bewley J D 1980 Lipid peroxidation associated with accelerated aging of soybean axes. Plant Physiol. 65, 245–248.Google Scholar
  28. Tolbert N E 1971 Microbodies-peroxisomes and glyoxysomes. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 22, 45–74.Google Scholar
  29. Trippi V S and Thimann K V 1983 The exudation of solutes during senesence of oat leaves. Physiol. Plant. 58, 21–28.Google Scholar
  30. Van Toai T T and Bolles C S 1991 Postanoxic injury in soybean (Glycine max) seedlings. Plant Physiol. 97, 588–592.Google Scholar
  31. Wang Z L and Liu Z X 1987 The sensitivity of summer maize plants with various leaf numbers to soil submergence. Jiangsu J. Agric. Sci. 2, 14–20.Google Scholar
  32. Wenkert W, Fausey N R and Watters H D 1981 Flooding responses in Zea mays L. Plant and Soil 62, 351–366.Google Scholar
  33. Winston G W 1990 Physiochemical basis for free radical formation in cells: Production and defenses. In Stress Responses in Plants: Adaptation and Acclimation Mechanisms, 1990, pp 58–86. Wiley-Liss Inc. New York, USA.Google Scholar
  34. Yoshida S, Forno D A, Cock J H and Gomez K A 1976 Laboratory manual for physiological studies of rice. 3rd edition. IRRI. Los Baños, Philippines.Google Scholar
  35. Zhang J X and Kirkham M B 1994 Drought-stress-induced changes in activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase in wheat species. Plant Cell Physiol, 35, 785–791.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Yan
    • 1
  • Qiujie Dai
    • 1
  • Xiaozhong Liu
    • 1
  • Shaobai Huang
    • 1
  • Zixia Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Agrobiological Genetics and PhysiologyJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjing, JiangsuP. R. China

Personalised recommendations