Influence of exogenously applied paclobutrazol on some physiological traits and growth of Stevia rebaudiana under in vitro drought stress


This investigation was carried on to find out the changes occurred in Stevia rebaudiana in response to paclobutrazol (PBZ; 0–4 mg L−1) treatment and drought stress. Polyethylene glycol (PEG; 0–6 % w/v) was used to stimulate drought stress. Drought stress reduced fresh and dry weight, water content, chlorophylls, carotenoids, anthocyanins, water soluble carbohydrates, reducing sugar and proline amounts. Electrolyte leakage, MDA, α-tocopherol and glycine betaine contents increased in drought-stressed plants. The activity of P5CS and PDH enzymes and protein content showed no significant changes under drought stress. PBZ (with or without PEG) treatments decreased fresh and dry weight and water content. In PBZ-treated plants, less pigments was damaged by drought stress. PBZ treatment reduced the negative effect of drought stress on lipid peroxidation which resulted in lower electrolyte leakage and MDA content, compared to the same PEG level without PBZ. PBZ (with or without PEG) treatments increased glycine betaine, α-tocopherol, proline and protein contents. The amount of water soluble carbohydrates, reducing sugar and activity of P5CS and PDH were not affected by PBZ treatments. SDS-PAGE analysis revealed that drought stress increased a 25 kD protein with a critical function in plant development under stresses. According to the results, PEG provoked a severe drought stress in S. rebaudiana that could partly be restored by PBZ treatment.

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Murashige and Skoog


D1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase




proline dehydrogenase


polyethylene glycol


reducing sugar


sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


steviol glycosides


thiobarbituric acid


trichloroacetic acid


water soluble carbohydrate


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Correspondence to Ali Akbar Ehsanpour.

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Hajihashemi, S., Ehsanpour, A.A. Influence of exogenously applied paclobutrazol on some physiological traits and growth of Stevia rebaudiana under in vitro drought stress. Biologia 68, 414–420 (2013).

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Key words

  • Stevia rebaudiana
  • drought stress
  • growth
  • osmolytes
  • paclobutrazol
  • ROS