Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Physiological and biochemical responses of Festuca sinensis seedlings to temperature and soil moisture stress

Jian-Jun Wang A , Wei-Hu Lin A , Yan-Ting Zhao B , Cheng Meng A , An-Wei Ma A , Long-Hai Xue A , Yu Kuang A and Pei Tian A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, 730000, China.

B School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, 730000, China.

C Corresponding author. Email: tianp@lzu.edu.cn

Functional Plant Biology 44(10) 1007-1015 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP16410
Submitted: 17 November 2016  Accepted: 13 June 2017   Published: 4 July 2017

Abstract

The interaction effects between temperature and soil moisture on Festuca sinensis Keng ex E.B.Alexeev were analysed to determine how F. sinensis responds to these environmental conditions. A pot experiment was conducted in a greenhouse under simulated growth conditions with four soil moisture contents (80, 65, 50 and 35% relative saturation moisture content) and three temperature conditions (15, 20 and 25°C). Physiological (relative water content and root activity) and biochemical parameters (chlorophyll, peroxidase (POD), malondialdehyde (MDA), soluble protein, soluble sugar and free proline) were evaluated at the seedling stage. Results showed that with a decrease in soil water content, the POD activities, MDA content, soluble protein content, soluble sugar content and free proline content of plants under the 15°C and 20°C treatments initially decreased and then increased, whereas they increased with a decrease of soil water content at 25°C. The relative water contents of plants under the three temperature treatments decreased with a decreasing soil moisture content, but then increased temperature significantly reduced the relative water content of the seedlings under low soil water content. The chlorophyll contents of plants under the 25°C treatment decreased with a decrease of soil moisture content, but those of plants under the 15°C and 20°C treatments initially increased and then decreased. The root activities of plants under the 15°C and 20°C treatments increased with a decreasing soil moisture content; however, those of plants under the 25°C treatment initially increased and then decreased. Thus, results indicated that changes of temperature and soil moisture content had significant and complicated effects on the physiological-biochemical characteristics of F. sinensis; the conditions of 20°C and 65% RSMC had positive effects on F. sinensis seedling growth and the appropriate drought stress could promote the growth of seedling roots under the three different temperature conditions. In conclusion, F. sinensis seedlings could adapt to certain changes in the ecological environment by regulating their physiological and biochemical reactions.

Additional keywords: drought tolerance, Festuca sinensis, moisture, physiological-biochemical characteristics, temperature.


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