Glycinebetaine application ameliorates negative effects of drought stress in tobacco

  • X. L. Ma
  • Y. J. Wang
  • S. L. Xie
  • C. Wang
  • W. Wang
Research Papers


Two tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) cultivars differing in drought tolerance were used to study the effects of foliar-applied glycinebetaine (GB, 80 mM) under well-watered and water-deficit conditions. The latter affected shoot biomass and height, with a more significant decrease observed in drought-sensitive cultivar than in drought-resistant cultivar. Foliar-applied GB was absorbed, accumulated by tobacco leaves and improved growth of plants subjected to water deficit. GB-treated plants maintained leaf water status apparently due to the improved osmotic adjustment. GB application enhanced the photosynthesis in water-deficit experiencing plants, mostly due to a greater stomatal conductance and carboxylation efficiency of CO2 assimilation. photosystem II (PSII) activity in GB-treated plants was higher, as suggested by higher actual efficiency of PSII (ΦPSII). GB increased anti-oxidative enzyme activities under water deficit. All these effects resulted in an improved shoot biomass and height. Therefore, foliar GB application at the rapid growth stage favors plant growth in drought-stressed plants, mainly by improving water status and increasing PSII activity.

Key words

Nicotiana tabacum antioxidant enzymes photosynthesis ion content reactive oxyhen species water deficit 



ascorbic acid


ascorbate peroxidase




intercellular CO2 concentration




stomatal conductance




net photosynthesis rate




reactive oxygen species


relative water content


superoxide dismutase


photosystem II


actual PSII efficiency


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. L. Ma
    • 1
  • Y. J. Wang
    • 1
  • S. L. Xie
    • 1
  • C. Wang
    • 1
  • W. Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life Science and College of Plant Protection, State Key Laboratory of Plant Biology of ShandongShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’anChina

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