Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 123–131 | Cite as

Exogenous gamma-aminobutyric acid increases salt tolerance of wheat by improving photosynthesis and enhancing activities of antioxidant enzymes

  • M. F. Li
  • S. J. Guo
  • X. H. Yang
  • Q. W. Meng
  • X. J. Wei
Original Papers


Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein amino acid that accumulates in a number of plant species under various environmental stresses. In this paper, the ability of applied GABA for the alleviation of NaCl stress was investigated in view of growth parameters, gas exchange, photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll fluorescence, activities of antioxidant enzymes, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and electrolyte conductivity (REC) in wheat seedlings. Germination rate and shoot dry mass decreased with an increasing NaCl concentration and this decrease was less pronounced when 0.5 mM GABA was applied. In the NaCl-treated seedlings, exogenous GABA partially enhanced photosynthetic capacity and antioxidant enzyme activities and decreased MDA content and REC. Therefore, GABA reduced the impact of salinity on the wheat seedlings.

Additional key words

catalase electrolyte leakage lipid peroxidation malondialdehyde superoxide dismutase Triticum aestivum 



actual photosystem II efficiency


catalase, Chl-chlorophyll


intercellular CO2 concentration


transpiration rate


ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


maximum fluorescence induction


variable fluorecence


γ-aminobutyric acid


stomatal conductance




non-photochemical quenching


net photosynthesis rate




electric conductivity


relative electrolyte conductivity


reactive oxygen species


superoxide dismutase


water use efficiency


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Li
    • 1
  • S. J. Guo
    • 1
  • X. H. Yang
    • 2
  • Q. W. Meng
    • 2
  • X. J. Wei
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life ScienceLiaocheng UniversityLiaochengP.R. China
  2. 2.College of Life ScienceShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianP.R. China

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