Changes in antioxidant activities and phenol content in tomato plants subjected to partial root drying and regulated deficit irrigation uri icon

abstract

  • Partial rootzone drying (PRD) and regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) are water saving irrigation systems that have been developed to increase water use efficiency (WUE) without significant yield reduction. To examine whether tomato responded differently to RDI and PRD, we compared the changes in antioxidative defenses in tomato plants using a split-root system. Tomato plants were grown for 21 days under controlled conditions with their roots separated equally between two soil compartments. Three irrigation treatments were imposed: Control, receiving an amount of water equivalent to 100% of plant transpiration; PRD in which one compartment was watered with 50% of the amount of water supplied to the controls, allowing one-half of the root system to be exposed to dry soil, and switching irrigation between sides weekly; RDI in which 50% of the amount of water given to the controls was supplied, half to each side of the root system. Relative water content (RWC), midday leaf and chlorophyll content decreased largely in RDI-treated plants, whereas the PRD plants exhibited relatively higher and RWC values. An enhanced level of lipid peroxidation in both roots and leaves indicated that PRD and RDI caused oxidative stress in tomato plants. In leaves, superoxide dismutase (SOD), soluble peroxidase (POX) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activities showed an increase in the early phase of water deficit, and then decreased in the remaining phase of the drying cycle. However, the increase was more pronounced under RDI. Catalase (CAT) activity declined continuously from the onset of PRD and RDI treatments to below the control level, and the reduction was less under PRD than RDI. POX cell-wall associated activities exceeded the control level by 450% and 230%, respectively, under RDI and PRD. At the root level, while CAT activity also decreased under both PRD and RDI, the activities of SOD, POX and PPO significantly increased and their activities showed an alternating increase/decrease paralleling the alternating irrigation in PRD-treated roots. As a result of the difference in POX and PPO activities between the two water treatments applied, PRD-treated plants accumulated more soluble and cell-wall bound phenolic compounds.

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008
  • 2008