Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 493–504 | Cite as

Waterlogging induced oxidative stress and antioxidant enzyme activities in pigeon pea

  • R. K. SairamEmail author
  • D. Kumutha
  • K. Ezhilmathi
  • V. Chinnusamy
  • R. C. Meena
Original Papers


An experiment was conducted with two contrasting pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L.) genotypes, ICPL 84023 (tolerant) and ICP 7035 (susceptible), to study the physiological and molecular basis of waterlogging tolerance in relation to oxidative stress and antioxidant enzyme activities. Waterlogging resulted in visible yellowing and premature senescence of leaves, and greater decline in relative water content, chlorophyll content, and membrane stability index in ICP 7035 than in ICPL 84023. Superoxide radical and hydrogen peroxide contents increased at day 4 and 6 of waterlogging probably due to activation of NADPH-oxidase. O2 ·− production was inhibited, by diphenylene iodonium chloride, a specific inhibitor of NADPH oxidase and expression of NADPH oxidase-mRNA was increased under waterlogging condition in ICPL 84023. ICP 7035 showed higher contents of ROS in control condition and after recovery, however, during waterlogging the O2 ·− production was higher in ICPL 84023. Activities of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase and catalase increased under waterlogging more in ICPL 84023 than in ICP 7035. Cu/Zn-SOD and APX-mRNA expression in 24-h waterlogged plants showed enhanced expression in ICPL 84023 compared to ICP 7035. The cloning and sequencing of APX gene of tolerant and susceptible genotypes yielded cDNAs of 622 and 623 bp, having 95 % homology with each other and 92 % with the corresponding sequences of Vigna unguiculate APX-gene.

Additional key words

anoxia ascorbate peroxidase Cajanus cajan catalase gene expression glutathione reductase hydrogen peroxide hypoxia superoxide radical superoxide dismutase 



ascorbate peroxidase








diphenyleneiodonium chloride




5,5-dithiobis-2-nitrobenzoic acid


ethidium bromide


glutathione reductase


glutathione disulfide (oxidized glutathione)


nitroblue tetrazolium chloride


reactive oxygen species


reverse transcriptase — polymerase chain reaction


superoxide dismutase


thiobarbituric acid relative substances




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Sairam
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Kumutha
    • 1
  • K. Ezhilmathi
    • 1
  • V. Chinnusamy
    • 1
  • R. C. Meena
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Plant PhysiologyIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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