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28-homobrassinolide improves growth and photosynthesis in Cucumis sativus L. through an enhanced antioxidant system in the presence of chilling stress


The ameliorative role of 28-homobrassinolide under chilling stress in various growth, photosynthesis, enzymes and biochemical parameters of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) were investigated. Cucumber seedlings were sprayed with 0 (control), 10−8, or 10−6 M of 28-homobrassinolide at the 30-day stage. 48 h after treatment plants were exposed for 18 h to chilling temperature (10/8°C, 5/3°C). The most evident effect of chilling stress was the marked reduction in plant growth, chlorophyll (Chl) content, and net photosynthetic rate, efficiency of photosystem II and activities of nitrate reductase and carbonic anhydrase. Moreover, the activities of antioxidant enzymes; catalase (E.C., peroxidase (E.C., superoxide dismutase (E.C. along with the proline content in leaves of the cucumber seedlings increased in proportion to chilling temperature. The stressed seedlings of cucumber pretreated with 28-homobrassinolide maintained a higher value of antioxidant enzymes and proline content over the control suggesting the protective mechanism against the ill-effect caused by chilling stress might be operative through an improved antioxidant system. Furthermore, the protective role of 28-homobrassinolide was reflected in improved growth, water relations, photosynthesis and maximum quantum yield of photosystem II both in the presence and absence of chilling stress.

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active oxygen species



C i :

internal carbon dioxide concentration


carbonic anhydrase



CO2 :

carbon dioxide


chilling stress 1


chilling stress 2


days after sowing


double distilled water


dry mass

E :

transpiration rate




fresh mass

g s :

stomatal conductance




least significant difference


nitrate reductase

P N :

net photosynthetic rate




photosynthetic photon flux density


photosystem II


relative water content


superoxide dismutase


turgor mass




water-use efficiency

Ψw :

leaf water potential


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Financial assistance rendered by Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India is gratefully acknowledged by Q. Fariduddin

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Fariduddin, Q., Yusuf, M., Chalkoo, S. et al. 28-homobrassinolide improves growth and photosynthesis in Cucumis sativus L. through an enhanced antioxidant system in the presence of chilling stress. Photosynthetica 49, 55–64 (2011).

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Additional key words

  • antioxidant enzymes
  • brassinosteroids
  • chilling stress
  • chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Cucumis sativus
  • photosynthesis