Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 243–250 | Cite as

Hydrogen sulfide counteracts chlorophyll loss in sweetpotato seedling leaves and alleviates oxidative damage against osmotic stress

  • Hua ZhangEmail author
  • Yong-Kang Ye
  • Song-Hua Wang
  • Jian-Ping Luo
  • Jun Tang
  • Dai-Fu Ma
Original Paper


In this paper, effect of NaHS, a hydrogen sulfide (H2S) donor on chlorophyll and antioxidant metabolism in seedling leaves of sweetpotato under osmotic stress was investigated. With the enhancement of osmotic stress, which was mimicked by PEG-6000, chlorophyll in seedling leaves of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) decreased dramatically. At 15% PEG (w/v), chlorophyll concentration reached only 50% compared with that of the controls. The osmotic-induced decrease in chlorophyll concentration could be alleviated by spraying exogenous H2S donor, NaHS in a dose-dependent manner, while little visible symptoms were observed in leaves sprayed with NaHS under control conditions. It was also shown that H2S or HS rather than other sulfur-containing components derived from NaHS contributed to the protective role against chlorophyll degradation during osmotic stress. Further studies showed that NaHS spraying dramatically promoted the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and decreased that of lipoxygenase and the concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde. In addition, concentrations of endogenous H2S in NaHS-sprayed seedlings were higher than that in water-spraying control under osmotic stress. These data indicated that H2S plays a protective role in sweetpotato seedlings during osmotic stress.


Antioxidant enzymes Chlorophyll Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) Osmotic stress Seedling leaves Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas



Ascorbate peroxidase




Carbon monoxide


Hydrogen peroxide


Hydrogen sulfide






Sodium hydrosulfide


Nitric oxide


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (070411009), the Great Project of Natural Science Foundation from Anhui Provincial Education Department (ZD200910), and the innovation fund to undergraduate students from Hefei University of Technology (XS0637, 08072).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hua Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yong-Kang Ye
    • 1
  • Song-Hua Wang
    • 2
  • Jian-Ping Luo
    • 1
  • Jun Tang
    • 3
  • Dai-Fu Ma
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Biotechnology and Food EngineeringHefei University of TechnologyHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Life Science CollegeAnhui Science and Technology UniversityBengbuChina
  3. 3.Xuzhou Sweetpotato Reseach Center, Chinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesNational Sweetpotato Improvement CenterXuzhouChina

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