Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 149–165 | Cite as

Oxidative stress, protein carbonylation, proteolysis and antioxidative defense system as a model for depicting water deficit tolerance in Indica rice seedlings

Original paper


Water deficit is an important constraint to rice (Oryza sativa L.) productivity. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether the level of oxidative stress, carbonylation of proteins, proteolysis and status of antioxidative defense could serve as a model to distinguish water deficit tolerant and sensitive rice cultivars. When 10-day-grown seedlings of two rice cultivars, Malviya-36 (drought-sensitive) and Brown Gora (drought-tolerant) were subjected to −1.0 and −2.1 MPa water deficit treatments for 24–72 h with polyethylene glycol 6000 in the medium, a greater decline in the growth of the seedlings and levels of leaf water potential, relative water content, Chl a, Chl b, carotenoids and greater increase in leaf water loss were observed in the sensitive cultivar than the tolerant. Under similar level of water deficit seedlings of sensitive cultivar showed higher level of superoxide anion generation, H2O2, lipid peroxidation and proteolysis in roots as well as shoots compared to the tolerant. Drought-tolerant cultivar had higher constitutive level of antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase and the activities of these two enzymes alongwith of guaiacol peroxidase showed greater increase in this cultivar under water deficit compared to the sensitive. A significant decline in the level of protein thiol and a higher increase in protein carbonyls content, also confirmed by protein gel blot analysis with an antibody against 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine was observed in the seedlings of drought sensitive cv. Malviya-36 compared to the tolerant cv. Brown Gora when subjected to similar level of water deficit. Seedlings of drought sensitive cultivar, under water deficit, showed higher proteolytic activity, higher number of in-gel activity stained proteolytic bands and higher expression of oxidized proteins in roots compared to the tolerant cultivar. Results suggest that poor capacity of antioxidative enzymes could be, at least partly, correlated with water deficit sensitivity of sensitive cultivar and that higher activity of antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, guaiacol peroxidase, low proteolytic activity, lower level of protein carbonyls and protein thiolation could serve as a model to depict water deficit tolerance in Indica rice seedlings.


Oxidative stress Protein carbonylation Reactive oxygen species Water deficit Proteolysis Oryza sativa L. 



SP is grateful to University Grants Commission, New Delhi for awarding her Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship to conduct this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha Pyngrope
    • 1
  • Kumari Bhoomika
    • 1
  • R. S. Dubey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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