, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 656–670 | Cite as

Salicylic acid alleviates aluminum toxicity in rice seedlings better than magnesium and calcium by reducing aluminum uptake, suppressing oxidative damage and increasing antioxidative defense

  • Poonam Pandey
  • Rajneesh Kumar Srivastava
  • R. S. DubeyEmail author


Aluminum toxicity is a major constraint to crop production in acid soils. The present study was undertaken to examine the comparative ameliorating effects of salicylic acid, Ca and Mg on Al toxicity in rice (Oryza sativa L.) seedlings grown in hydroponics. Al treatment (0.5 mM AlCl3) caused decrease in plant vigour, loss of root plasma membrane integrity, increased contents of O 2 ∙− , H2O2, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyls and decline in the level of protein thiol. Al treatment caused significant changes in activity of antioxidative enzymes in rice seedlings. Exogenously added salicylic acid (60 μM), Ca (1 mM) and Mg (0.25 mM) significantly alleviated Al toxicity effects in the seedlings marked by restoration of growth, suppression of Al uptake, restoration of root plasma membrane integrity and decline in O 2 ∙− , H2O2, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonyl contents. Salicylic acid, Ca and Mg suppressed Al-induced increase in SOD, GPX and APX activities while it elevated Al-induced decline in CAT activity. By histochemical staining of O 2 ∙− using NBT and H2O2 using DAB, it was further confirmed that added salicylic acid, Ca or Mg decreased Al-induced accumulation of O 2 ∙− and H2O2 in the leaf tissues. Results indicate that exogenously added salicylic acid, Ca or Mg alleviates Al toxicity in rice seedlings by suppressing Al uptake, restoring root membrane integrity, reducing ROS level and ROS induced oxidative damage and regulating the level of antioxidative enzyme activities. Further salicylic appears to be superior to Mg and Ca in alleviating Al toxicity effects in rice plants.


Aluminum Salicylic acid Calcium Magnesium Oryza sativa L. Oxidative stress 



PP and RKS are grateful to Banaras Hindu University for providing Research Fellowships to conduct this work. Financial support for this work was provided by Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, New Delhi in form of a major research project SP/SO/PS-29/05.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Poonam Pandey
    • 1
  • Rajneesh Kumar Srivastava
    • 1
  • R. S. Dubey
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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