Hydrogen sulfide alleviates aluminum toxicity in germinating wheat seedlings

J Integr Plant Biol. 2010 Jun;52(6):556-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00946.x.


Protective role of hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) on seed germination and seedling growth was studied in wheat (Triticum) seeds subjected to aluminum (Al(3+)) stress. We show that germination and seedling growth of wheat is inhibited by high concentrations of AlCl(3). At 30 mmol/L AlCl(3) germination is reduced by about 50% and seedling growth is more dramatically inhibited by this treatment. Pre-incubation of wheat seeds in the H(2)S donor NaHS alleviates AlCl(3)-induced stress in a dose-dependant manner at an optimal concentration of 0.3 mmol/L. We verified that the role of NaHS in alleviating Al(3+) stress could be attributed to H(2)S/HS(-) by showing that the level of endogenous H(2)S increased following NaHS treatment. Furthermore, other sodium salts containing sulfur were ineffective in alleviating Al(3+) stress. NaHS pretreatment significantly increased the activities of amylases and esterases and sustained much lower levels of MDA and H(2)O(2) in germinating seeds under Al(3+) stress. Moreover, NaHS pretreatment increased the activities of guaiacol peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase and decreased that of lipoxygenase. NaHS pretreatment also decreased the uptake of Al(3+) in AlCl(3)-treated seed. Taken together these results suggest that H(2)S could increase antioxidant capability in wheat seeds leading to the alleviation of Al(3+) stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / toxicity*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Ascorbate Peroxidases
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Germination
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / pharmacology
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Peroxidases / metabolism
  • Seedlings / drug effects*
  • Seedlings / growth & development
  • Seedlings / metabolism
  • Sulfides / pharmacology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Triticum / drug effects*
  • Triticum / growth & development
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Sulfides
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Aluminum
  • Peroxidases
  • guaiacol peroxidase
  • Ascorbate Peroxidases
  • Catalase
  • Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Hydrogen Sulfide