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Water deficit and aluminum interactive effects on generation of reactive oxygen species and responses of antioxidative enzymes in the seedlings of two rice cultivars differing in stress tolerance

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Abstract

Aluminum (Al) is a major constraint to crop productivity in acid soils, whereas water deficit severely limits crop production in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of both stresses, Al excess and water deficit, individually and in combination on the production of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) superoxide anion (O2˙), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydroxyl radical, and lipid peroxidation and the activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) in the seedlings of two rice (Oryza sativa L.) cvs. Malviya-36 (sensitive to water deficit and Al) and Vandana (tolerant to water deficit and Al). When 15-day grown seedlings were exposed to water deficit (created with 15 % polyethylene glycol, PEG-6000) or Al (1 mM AlCl3) treatment or both treatments together for 24–72 h, the lengths and fresh weights of root/shoot declined in the seedlings of the sensitive cultivar, whereas in the tolerant seedlings, either little or insignificant decline in these parameters was observed due to the treatments. Biochemical determinations and histochemical studies revealed that under a similar level of water deficit, Al, or combined treatment, seedlings of sensitive cultivar showed a higher level of production of O2˙, H2O2, hydroxyl radical, and lipid peroxides compared to the tolerant seedlings. Seedlings of tolerant cultivars, both in roots and shoots, had constitutively higher activity levels of antioxidative enzymes SOD, CAT, and GPX and showed a greater increase in activity under water deficit or Al treatment alone or in combination compared to the similarly treated seedlings of sensitive cultivar. Our results suggest that a lower constitutive level of ROS and a high antioxidative enzyme capacity are associated with tolerance to both water deficit and Al excess in rice seedlings.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Banaras Hindu University for providing Research Fellowships to conduct this work. Financial support for this work was provided by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, in the form of a major research project SP/SO/PS-29/05.

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Correspondence to R. S. Dubey.

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Pandey, P., Srivastava, R.K., Rajpoot, R. et al. Water deficit and aluminum interactive effects on generation of reactive oxygen species and responses of antioxidative enzymes in the seedlings of two rice cultivars differing in stress tolerance. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 1516–1528 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5392-8

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