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Photosynthetica

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 74–80 | Cite as

Changes in chloroplast ultrastructure in leaves of drought-stressed maize inbred lines

  • R. X. Shao
  • L. F. Xin
  • H. F. Zheng
  • L. L. Li
  • W. L. Ran
  • J. Mao
  • Q. H. Yang
Original Papers

Abstract

Chloroplasts are commonly the site of the earliest abiotic injury visible in plant ultrastructure. In this study, six inbred lines of maize (Zea mays L.) were used to analyze changes in the ultrastructure of chloroplasts and related physiological parameters under conditions of drought stress simulated by 20% polyethylene glycol 6000 (−0.6 MPa) for two days. Chloroplasts of three maize lines proved to be more sensitive. They showed changes in the ultrastructure in response to drought, including damage of thylakoid membranes, an increase in the number and size of plastoglobuli, swelling of thylakoid membranes both stromal and granal, disorganization of the thylakoid membrane system, an obvious increase in the intrathylakoid space, and a decrease in the length-to-width ratio and area of chloroplasts. In addition, the contents of malondialdehyde increased markedly in the sensitive lines. Contrary to the sensitive lines, stable structures and shapes of chloroplasts were observed in the drought-resistant lines; it could be considered as an advantage contributing to drought tolerance in the plants. In addition, the drought index of leaf fresh mass (LMDI) in the drought-sensitive lines was ≤ 0.5, which was also associated with a lower content of leaf chlorophyll. In contrast, drought tolerance coincided with lesser growth reduction, and higher LMDI and leaf chlorophyll content.

Additional key words

biomass chlorophyll maize membrane peroxidation water content 

Abbreviations

DI

drought index

DM

dry mass

FM

fresh mass

G

granal thylakoids

LFMC

leaf fresh matter of control plants

LFMD

leaf fresh matter of plants under drought stress

LMDI

drought index of leaf fresh mass

MDA

malondialdehyde

P

plastoglobuli

PEG

polyethylene glycol

ROS

reactive oxygen species

RWC

relative water content

SG

starch grain

ψw

water potential

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center of Henan Grain Crops, Agronomy College of Henan Agricultural UniversityNational Key Laboratory of Wheat and Maize Crop ScienceZhengzhouChina

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