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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 41(7)

Antioxidant enzyme activities and gene expression patterns in peanut nodules during a drought and rehydration cycle

Ana Laura Furlan A B C, Eliana Bianucci A, María del Carmen Tordable A, Stella Castro A and Karl-Josef Dietz B

A Departamento de Ciencias Naturales, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físico-Químicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto. Ruta 36, Km 601, 5800 Río Cuarto, Córdoba, Argentina.
B Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants, Bielefeld University, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany.
C Corresponding author. Email: afurlan@exa.unrc.edu.ar

Functional Plant Biology 41(7) 704-713 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP13311
Submitted: 24 October 2013  Accepted: 29 January 2014   Published: 26 March 2014

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Drought stress is one of the most important environmental factors that affect plant growth and limit biomass production. Most studies focus on drought stress development but the reversibility of the effects receives less attention. Therefore, the present work aims to explore the biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) of the symbiotic association between peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and Bradyrhizobium sp. during a drought–recovery cycle with a focus on the response of enzyme activity and gene expression of the antioxidant system. Peanuts exposed to drought stress had impaired BNF, as indicated by lower nitrogenase activity, and decreased leghaemoglobin content; the latter was reversed to control values upon rehydration. Previous results demonstrated that reactive oxygen species (O2·- and H2O2) were accumulated as a consequence of drought stress, suggesting that nodules experience oxidative stress. In addition, marker transcripts responsive to drought, abscisic acid and H2O2 were upregulated. Increased transcript levels of glutathione reductase were associated with an increased enzyme activity but superoxide dismutase and glutathione S-transferase activities were unchanged, despite upregulated gene transcription. In contrast, increased activity of ascorbate peroxidase (APX) was unrelated with changes in cytosolic APX transcript levels suggesting isogene specificity. In conclusion, the work exemplarily demonstrates the efficient and dynamic regulation of antioxidant enzymes and marker compounds during drought cycling, which is likely to be a prerequisite for functional optimisation of nodule metabolism.

Additional keywords: antioxidant system, Arachis hypogaea, biological nitrogen fixation, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species.


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