Response of Ricinus communis L. to in vitro water stress induced by polyethylene glycol
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Two castor bean cultivars were subjected to water stress induced by polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG) under in vitro conditions. After 15 days, a reduced percentage of surviving plants, leaf abscission and greater leaf cuticular wax content were observed, accompanied by reduced water loss through the leaves. PEG also caused a decrease in soluble protein content and increases in the levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde, as well as increases in the specific activities of superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase and catalase enzymes. These findings suggest that the mechanisms of tolerance of these genotypes are associated with their ability to activate key enzymes of the antioxidant defense system. However, the adaptive responses induced in response to stress were not sufficient to improve plant performance during the acclimatization period, and their survival rate dropped nearly 50 % relative to control treatment.
KeywordsAcclimatization Antioxidant enzymes Castor bean Cuticular wax Oxidative stress
The authors wish to thank the Embrapa Algodão for providing the castor seeds; the Núcleo de Plataforma Tecnológica—NPT/CPqAM/FIOCRUZ and Laboratório de Micros-copia—LIKA/UFPE, for SEM analysis. As well, the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for doctoral fellowship granted to the first author.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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