Brazilian Journal of Botany

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 591–597 | Cite as

Exogenous salicylic acid-induced nitric oxide regulates leaf water condition through root osmoregulation of maize seedlings under drought stress

Short Communication


Under drought stress, the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the regulation of leaf water condition by salicylic acid (SA) through root osmoregulation of maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings was investigated. The results showed that drought stress markedly increased the contents of NO, soluble sugar, proline, soluble protein, Na+, K+ and Ca2+, as well as the activity of plasmalemma H+-ATPase in roots, compared with control. However, drought stress significantly decreased root hydraulic conductivity and leaf relative water content (RWC). Exogenous SA under drought stress significantly increased above indicators, compared with drought stress alone. Above effects of SA were significantly inhibited by the pretreatment with NO scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (cPTIO). Overall, the findings indicated that SA-induced NO participated in the regulation of leaf water condition through root osmoregulation of maize seedlings under drought stress.


Drought tolerance Osmotic adjustment Signal molecule Water balance Zea mays 



Our study was funded by “Open project of Crop Science Characteristic Discipline of Henan Province” and “Key Project of Scientific Research of Higher Education Institution from Education Department of Henan Province (13A180302).”

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ali Q, Ashraf M (2011) Exogenously applied glycinebetaine enhances seed and seed oil quality of maize (Zea mays L.) under water deficit conditions. Environ Exp Bot 71:249–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barcia RA, Pena LB, Zawoznik MS, Benavides MP, Gallego SM (2014) Osmotic adjustment and maintenance of the redox balance in root tissue may be key points to overcome a mild water deficit during the early growth of wheat. Plant Growth Regul 74:107–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bates LS, Waldren RP, Teare ID (1973) Rapid determination of free proline for water-stress studies. Plant Soil 39:205–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradford MM (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Dong F, Wang P, Zhang L, Song C (2001) The role of hydrogen peroxide in salicylic acid-induced stomatal closure in Vicia faba guard cells. Acta Phytophysiol Sin 27:296–302Google Scholar
  6. Du H, Zhou X, Yang Q, Liu H, Kurtenbach R (2015) Changes in H+-ATPase activity and conjugated polyamine contents in plasma membrane purified from developing wheat embryos under short-time drought stress. Plant Growth Regul 75:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fan QJ, Liu JH (2012) Nitric oxide is involved in dehydration/drought tolerance in Poncirus trifoliata seedlings through regulation of antioxidant systems and stomatal response. Plant Cell Rep 31:145–154CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gupta N, Thind SK, Bains NS (2014) Glycine betaine application modifies biochemical attributes of osmotic adjustment in drought stressed wheat. Plant Growth Regul 72:221–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. He Q, Zhao S, Ma Q, Zhang Y, Huang L, Li G, Hao L (2014) Endogenous salicylic acid levels and signaling positively regulate Arabidopsis response to polyethylene glycol-simulated drought stress. J Plant Growth Regul 33:871–880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jamil S, Ali Q, Iqbal M, Javed MT, Iftikhar W, Shahzad F, Perveen R (2015) Modulations in plant water relations and tissue-specific osmoregulation by foliar-applied ascorbic acid and the induction of salt tolerance in maize plants. Braz J Bot 38:527–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kang GZ, Li GZ, Liu GQ, Xu W, Peng XQ, Wang CY, Zhu YJ, Guo TC (2013) Exogenous salicylic acid enhances wheat drought tolerance by influence on the expression of genes related to ascorbate-glutathione cycle. Biol Plant 57:718–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Khoshbakht D, Asgharei MR (2015) Influence of foliar-applied salicylic acid on growth, gas-exchange characteristics, and chlorophyll fluorescence in citrus under saline conditions. Photosynthetica 53:410–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu X, Zhang S, Lou C (2003) Involvement of nitric oxide in the signal transduction of salicylic acid regulating stomatal movement. Chin Sci Bull 48:449–452Google Scholar
  14. López-Carrión AI, Castellano R, Rosales MA, Ruiz JM, Romero L (2008) Role of nitric oxide under saline stress: implications on proline metabolism. Biol Plant 52:587–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Loutfy N, El-Tayeb MA, Hassanen AM, Moustafa MFM, Sakuma Y, Inouhe M (2012) Changes in the water status and osmotic solute contents in response to drought and salicylic acid treatments in four different cultivars of wheat (Triticum aestivum). J Plant Res 125:173–184CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Qiu QS, Su XF (1998) The influence of extracellular-side Ca2+ on the activity of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase from wheat roots. Aust J Plant Physiol 25:923–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shan C, He F, Xu G, Han R, Liang Z (2012) Nitric oxide is involved in the regulation of ascorbate and glutathione metabolism in Agropyron cristatum leaves under water stress. Biol Plant 56:187–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shan C, Zhou Y, Liu M (2015) Nitric oxide participates in the regulation of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle by exogenous jasmonic acid in the leaves of wheat seedlings under drought stress. Protoplasma 252:1397–1405CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Shimizu M, Ishida A, Hogetsu T (2005) Root hydraulic conductivity and whole-plant water balance in tropical saplings following a shade-to-sun transfer. Oecologia 143:189–197CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Wei Q (2009) The experiment of basic biochemistry. Higher education press, Beijing, pp 84–86Google Scholar
  21. Xiong J, Zhang L, Fu G, Yang Y, Zhu C (2012) Drought-induced proline accumulation is uninvolved with increased nitric oxide, which alleviates drought stress by decreasing transpiration in rice. J Plant Res 125:155–164CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Yang Y, Liu Q, Wang GX, Wang XD, Guo JY (2010) Germination, osmotic adjustment, and antioxidant enzyme activities of gibberellin-pretreated Picea asperata seeds under water stress. New For 39:231–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Yang SL, Chen K, Wang SS, Gong M (2015) Osmoregulation as a key factor in drought hardening-induced drought tolerance in Jatropha curcas. Biol Plant 59:529–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zhou B, Guo Z, Xing J, Huang B (2005) Nitric oxide is involved in abscisic acid-induced antioxidant activities in Stylosanthes guianensis. J Exp Bot 56:3223–3228CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Botanical Society of Sao Paulo 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life Science and TechnologyHenan Institute of Science and TechnologyXinxiangChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Modern Biological BreedingXinxiangChina

Personalised recommendations