Terminal heat stress causes an array of physiological, biochemical and morphological changes in plants, which affect plant growth and development. It has very severe effect on the pollen viability and seed setting in wheat. In the present investigation, an altered expression of H2O2 (0.9 µg/g in C-306 and 0.75 µg/g in HD2329) was observed with the highest accumulation at seed hardening stage and against heat shock (HS) of 42°C for 2 h. With the increase in H2O2 accumulation, an increase in the number of isoenzymes of superoxide dismutase and catalase were observed with high activities under differential heat shock. A decrease in the proline accumulation was observed under differential heat shock. Exogenous application of H2O2 (10 mmole/L) leads to increase in the accumulation of intracellular H2O2 and further an increase in the number of isoenzymes of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) was observed. The tolerant cultivar was more responsive to exogenous application of H2O2 compared to susceptible cultivar. The percentage decrease in cell membrane stability under differential heat shock was low in H2O2 treated plants compared to non-treated. The results from this study suggest a potential role for H2O2in regulating the activity of antioxidant enzymes and accumulation of proline inside cells and in turn influence the cell membrane stability under heat stress. All the defense associated genes were observed to be very responsive to intracellular H2O2, which gives inference that H2O2 has regulatory role to play in controlling the expression and activities of these proteins under abiotic stresses.
Key words: Antioxidant enzymes, wheat, heat stress, H2O2, proline, catalase, superoxide dismutase, cell membrane stability, reactive oxygen species.
SOD, Superoxide dismutase; CAT, catalase; CMS, cell membrane stability; HS, heat stress; ROS, reactive oxygen species.
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