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Water loss prevention plays a greater role than ROS scavenging in dehydration tolerance of Kalanchoe tubiflora epiphyllous buds

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Different plants and plant organs have various strategies to cope with drought stress. Kalanchoe tubiflora plants have a strong ability to prevent water loss and to scavenge reactive oxygen species. The epiphyllous bud of the plant serves as a reproduction unit and is able to generate plantlets even under conditions of extreme drought. The aim of this project was to study the antioxidant-stress response and osmoregulation of K. tubiflora epiphyllous buds to dehydration and to compare the drought-tolerance mechanisms of the plant body and the epiphyllous buds. With the progression of bud dehydration, relative water content, seedling survival rate and dry weight per seedling decreased, and electrolyte leakage, hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde content and superoxide anion production rate increased. The activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, dehydroascorbate reductase and glutathione reductase decreased under dehydration. The content of proline, soluble sugars and soluble protein increased in dehydrated buds proportionally with the extent of water loss. These data indicate that the drought-tolerance mechanism of the K. tubiflora bud was different from that of its mother plant. The buds invest more energy to prevent water loss during drought stress, and their antioxidant defense weakens.

Affiliations: 1: College of Biology and Chemistry, Puer University ; 2: Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences


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