Brassinolide Application Improves the Drought Tolerance in Maize Through Modulation of Enzymatic Antioxidants and Leaf Gas Exchange

S. A. Anjum, L. C. Wang, M. Farooq*, M. Hussain, L. L. Xue, C. M. Zou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

246 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Brassinolides (BRs) are naturally occurring substances, which modulate plant growth and development events and have been known to improve the crop tolerance to abiotic stresses. In this study, possible role of exogenously applied brassinolide (BR) in alleviating the detrimental effects of drought in maize was evaluated in a rain-protected wire-house. Maize was subjected to drought at the start of tasseling for 6days by withholding water application followed by foliar spray of BR (0.1mgl-1) to assess the changes in growth, gas exchange, chlorophyll contents, protein, relative leaf water contents (RLWC), proline, malonialdehyde (MDA) and enzymatic antioxidants. Drought substantially reduced the maize growth in terms of plant height, leaf area and plant biomass. Moreover, substantial decrease in gas exchange attributes (net photosynthetic rate (A), transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), water use efficiency (WUE), instantaneous water use efficiency (WUEi) and intercellular CO2 (Ci) was also recorded. However, exogenous application of BR remarkably improved the gas exchange attributes, plant height, leaf area, cobs per plant, seedling dry weight both under drought and well-watered conditions. BR-induced promotion in growth and physiological and metabolic activities were mediated through increased protein synthesis enabling maintenance of tissue water potential and activities of antioxidant enzymes lowering the lipid peroxidation under drought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Volume197
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brassinolide
  • Drought stress
  • Growth
  • Maize
  • Photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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