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Exogenous application of nitric oxide modulates osmolyte metabolism, antioxidants, enzymes of ascorbate-glutathione cycle and promotes growth under cadmium stress in tomato

Abstract

Experiments were carried out to investigate the role of nitric oxide (NO) in ameliorating the negative effects of cadmium stress in tomato seedlings. Plants treated with cadmium (CdCl2, 150 μM) showed reduced growth, biomass yield, pigment content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and gas exchange parameters. Exogenous application of NO donor (sodium nitroprusside) with nutrient solution protected chlorophyll pigments, restored chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange parameters, and caused significant enhancements in growth and biomass yield. Cadmium triggered the synthesis of proline and glycine betaine; however, application of NO caused further enhancement of their accumulation, reflecting an obvious amelioration of the cadmium-induced decline in relative water content. Activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, and glutathione reductase, monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, and other enzymatic activities of ascorbate-glutathione cycle were enhanced following the application of NO, as compared with those in untreated seedlings under control and cadmium stress conditions. NO increased the flavonoid and total phenol content in Cd-stressed tomato plants. Moreover, NO application restricted the uptake of cadmium and enhanced the accumulation of nutrients in different parts of tomato plants. On the basis of the findings of the present study, we propose that NO has a potential role as a growth promoter for tomato under cadmium stress.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this research group (no. RG-1438-039).

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Correspondence to Parvaiz Ahmad.

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Handling Editor: Néstor Carrillo

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Ahmad, P., Ahanger, M.A., Alyemeni, M.N. et al. Exogenous application of nitric oxide modulates osmolyte metabolism, antioxidants, enzymes of ascorbate-glutathione cycle and promotes growth under cadmium stress in tomato. Protoplasma 255, 79–93 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-017-1132-x

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Keywords

  • Oxidative stress
  • Osmolyte
  • Antioxidant
  • Ascorbate-glutathione cycle
  • Cadmium
  • Tomato
  • Nitric oxide