Chilling-induced changes in the antioxidant status of basil plants

  • Andrzej Kalisz
  • Robert Pokluda
  • Aleš Jezdinský
  • Agnieszka Sękara
  • Aneta Grabowska
  • Joanna Gil
  • Jarmila Neugebauerová
Original Article


Six cultivars of basil, ‘Genovese’, ‘Purpurascens’, ‘Cinnamon’, ‘Crispum’, ‘Citriodora’, and ‘Siam Queen’, at the age of 8 weeks, were subjected to low temperature (6 °C for 8 days) or 18 °C (control). Content of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA), total phenolics, and l-ascorbic acid were assessed in basil leaves after low temperature exposure. Activity of peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) enzymes and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH·) radical scavenging activity were also determined. The greatest increase in H2O2 was observed for lettuce leaf basil, by 104 % in comparison to the control, while most noticeable increase in the content of MDA was noted for lemon basil (by 77 %). Chilling treatment resulted in higher POD activity in two cultivars: Thai and green basil, changes in CAT activity was negligible for almost all tested genotypes, with an exception of Thai basil, for which activity of this enzyme dropped. Chilling induced the increase of l-ascorbic acid in most tested basil cultivars, but total phenolic content increased significantly only in lettuce leaf basil. Higher ability in scavenging free radicals was shown in basil treated with 6 °C, especially the red basil cultivar. For this genotype, DPPH· radical scavenging activity was the highest among tested cultivars and was parallel to the highest content of phenolics. The results indicated overproduction of H2O2, deterioration of membrane integrity, and activation of enzymatic and/or non-enzymatic defence mechanisms in basil with an evidence of genotypic variation as the response to low temperature.


Antioxidant defence Enzymes Hydrogen peroxide Non-enzymatic antioxidants Ocimum basilicum



The authors are thankful to His Magnificence Rector of the University of Agriculture in Krakow (Poland) for financial support of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej Kalisz
    • 1
  • Robert Pokluda
    • 2
  • Aleš Jezdinský
    • 2
  • Agnieszka Sękara
    • 1
  • Aneta Grabowska
    • 1
  • Joanna Gil
    • 1
  • Jarmila Neugebauerová
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Vegetable and Medicinal PlantsUniversity of Agriculture in KrakowKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Department of Vegetable Growing and FloricultureMendel University in BrnoLedniceCzech Republic

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