, Volume 256, Issue 5, pp 1217–1227 | Cite as

High temperature and drought stress cause abscisic acid and reactive oxygen species accumulation and suppress seed germination growth in rice

  • Juan Liu
  • Mirza Hasanuzzaman
  • Huili Wen
  • Jing Zhang
  • Ting Peng
  • Huwei Sun
  • Quanzhi ZhaoEmail author
Original Article


Seed germination is one of the most important biological processes in the life cycle of plants, and temperature and water are the two most critical environmental factors that influence seed germination. In the present study, we investigated the roles of the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in high temperature (HT) and drought-induced inhibition of rice seed germination. HT and drought stress caused ABA accumulation in seeds and inhibited seed germination and seedling establishment. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that HT and drought stress induced the expression of OsNCED3, a key gene in ABA synthesis in rice seeds. In addition, ROS (O2•- and H2O2) and malondialdehyde contents were increased in germinating seeds under HT and drought stress. Moreover, we adopted the non-invasive micro-test technique to detect H2O2 and Ca2+ fluxes at the site of coleoptile emergence. HT and drought stress resulted in a H2O2 efflux, but only drought stress significantly induced Ca2+ influx. Antioxidant enzyme assays revealed that superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase, catalase (CAT), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity were reduced by HT and drought stress, consistent with the expression of OsCu/ZnSOD, OsCATc, and OsAPX2 during seed germination. Altogether, these results suggest that ABA and ROS accumulation under HT and drought conditions can inhibit rice seed germination and growth.


Calcium Drought High temperature Oxidative stress Plant hormone Seed biology 



Ascorbate peroxidase




High temperature




Nitroblue tetrazolium


Non-invasive Micro-test Technique


Glyoxylate reductase


Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction


Reactive Oxygen Species


Superoxide dismutase


Authors’ contributions

Juan Liu, Mirza Hasanuzzaman, Huili Wen, and Quanzhi Zhao designed and performed the experiments, analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript. Jing Zhang carried out data analysis. Ting Peng and Huwei Sun gave technical advice and contributed to the study design. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by Major Science and Technology Project of Henan Province (141100110600), Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System Projects of Henan Province (S2012-04-02), and the Support Plan of Science and Technology Innovation Team in Universities of Henan province (17IRTSTHN015).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Liu
    • 1
  • Mirza Hasanuzzaman
    • 2
  • Huili Wen
    • 1
  • Jing Zhang
    • 1
  • Ting Peng
    • 1
  • Huwei Sun
    • 1
  • Quanzhi Zhao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center of Henan Grain Crops, Henan Key Laboratory of Rice BiologyHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of AgricultureSher-e-Bangla Agricultural UniversityDhakaBangladesh

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