Glycinebetaine-induced modulation of antioxidant enzymes activities and ion accumulation in two wheat cultivars differing in salt tolerance

Sayed H. Raza, Habib R. Athar, Muhammad Ashraf, Amjad Hameed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Modulation of water relations, activities of antioxidant enzymes and ion accumulation was assessed in the plants of two wheat cultivars S-24 (salt tolerant) and MH-97 (moderately salt sensitive) subjected to saline conditions and glycinebetaine (GB) applied foliarly. Different levels of GB, i.e., 0 (unsprayed), 50 and 100 mM (in 0.10% Tween-20 solution) were applied to the wheat plants at the vegetative growth stage. Leaf water potential, leaf osmotic potential and turgor potential were decreased due to salt stress. Salt stress increased the Na+ and Cl- accumulation coupled with a decrease in K+ and Ca2+ in the leaves and roots of both cultivars thereby decreasing tissue K+/Na+ and Ca2+/Na+ ratios. Furthermore, salt stress decreased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), whereas it increased the activities of catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD) in both wheat cultivars. However, accumulation of GB in the leaves of both wheat cultivars was consistently increased with an increase in concentration of exogenous GB application under both non-saline and saline conditions. Accumulation of Na+ was decreased with an increase in K+ accumulation upon a consistent increase in GB accumulation under salt stress conditions thereby resulting in better K+/Na+ and Ca2+/Na+ ratios in the leaves and roots. High accumulation of GB and K+ mainly contributed to osmotic adjustment, which is one of the factors known to be responsible for improving growth and yield under salt stress. The activities of all antioxidant enzymes, SOD, CAT and POD were enhanced by GB application in cv. MH-97 under saline conditions, whereas all these except SOD were reduced in cv. S-24. It is likely that both applied GB and intrinsic SOD scavenged ROS in the tolerant cultivar thereby resulting into low activities of CAT and POD enzymes under salt stress. In conclusion, the adverse effects of salt stress on wheat can be alleviated by the exogenous application of 100 mM GB by modulating activities of antioxidant enzymes and changes in water relations and ion homeostasis. Furthermore, effectiveness of GB application on regulation of activities of antioxidant enzymes was found to be cultivar-specific. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)368-376
    Number of pages8
    JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


    • Ca2+/Na+ ratio
    • CAT
    • Glycinebetaine
    • K+/Na+ ratio
    • Osmotic adjustment
    • Oxidative stress
    • POD
    • Salt tolerance
    • SOD


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