, Volume 249, Issue 3, pp 625–635 | Cite as

Brassinolide alleviates salt stress and increases antioxidant activity of cowpea plants (Vigna sinensis)

  • Ali Abdel Aziz El-Mashad
  • Heba Ibrahim Mohamed
Original Article


Soil salinity is one of the most severe factors limiting growth and physiological response in Vigna sinensis plants. Plant salt stress tolerance requires the activation of complex metabolic activities including antioxidative pathways, especially reactive oxygen species and scavenging systems within the cells which can contribute to continued growth under water stress. The present investigation was carried out to study the role of brassinolide in enhancing tolerance of cowpea plants to salt stress (NaCl). Treatment with 0.05 ppm brassinolide as foliar spray mitigated salt stress by inducing enzyme activities responsible for antioxidation, e.g., superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase, and detoxification as well as by elevating contents of ascorbic acid, tocopherol, and glutathione. On the other hand, total soluble proteins decreased with increasing NaCl concentrations in comparison with control plants. However, lipid peroxidation increased with increasing concentrations of NaCl. In addition to, the high concentrations of NaCl (100 and 150 mM) decreased total phenol of cowpea plants as being compared with control plants. SDS-PAGE of protein revealed that NaCl treatments alone or in combination with 0.05 ppm brassinolide were associated with the disappearance of some bands or appearance of unique ones in cowpea plants. Electrophoretic studies of α-esterase, β-esterase, polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase, acid phosphatase, and superoxide dismutase isoenzymes showed wide variations in their intensities and densities among all treatments.


Cowpea Salt stress Brassinolide Antioxidant compounds and enzymes Protein electrophoresis Isoenzymes 



Reactive oxygen species




Superoxide dismutase




Ascorbate peroxidase


Polyphenol oxidases


Glutathione reductase


Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Abdel Aziz El-Mashad
    • 1
  • Heba Ibrahim Mohamed
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Physiology, Biological and Geological Sciences, Faculty of EducationAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

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