Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 155–162 | Cite as

Response of antioxidant activity to excess copper in two cultivars of Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis Makino

  • Ying Li
  • Yuping Song
  • Gongjun Shi
  • Jianjun Wang
  • Xilin Hou
Original Paper


Changes in ascorbic acid content and antioxidant enzyme activities were investigated in non-heading Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis Makino) leaves of ‘Wutacai’ and ‘Erqing’ exposed to excess copper (Cu). Cu treatment reduced the fresh weight of shoot and root by 57% and 46% in ‘Wutacai’, and 60 and 54% in ‘Erqing’, respectively. The accumulation of copper in leaves was higher in ‘Wutacai’ than that in ‘Erqing’. Compared to the control, ascorbic acid (AsA) contents were significantly decreased after copper treatment in both cultivars, while they were higher in ‘Wutacai’ than in ‘Erqing’, which may explain the higher copper-tolerance of ‘Wutacai’ with higher copper accumulation. The higher AsA contents of ‘Wutacai’ resulted from their lower activities of degrading enzymes, such as ascorbate oxydase (AAO) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), as well as the increasing activity of dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) after copper treatment compared with ‘Erqing’. Copper stimulated superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in both cultivars, but for catalase (CAT), there was little difference between both cultivars. Peroxidases (POD) activity was decreased after copper treatment in ‘Erqing’, while in ‘Wutacai’, it was significantly increased at 14 days, and POD activity was higher in ‘Wutacai’ than that in ‘Erqing’ at 21 and 28 days. Therefore, the induced increasing activity of POD in ‘Wutacai’ also played an important role in its copper tolerance.


Copper stress Ascorbic acid l-galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase Antioxidant enzymes Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis Makino 


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuping Song
    • 1
  • Gongjun Shi
    • 1
  • Jianjun Wang
    • 1
  • Xilin Hou
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Horticultural DepartmentNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm EnhancementNanjingChina

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