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, 13 (5), e0197870
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Drought-tolerant and Drought-Sensitive Genotypes of Maize (Zea Mays L.) Differ in Contents of Endogenous Brassinosteroids and Their Drought-Induced Changes

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Drought-tolerant and Drought-Sensitive Genotypes of Maize (Zea Mays L.) Differ in Contents of Endogenous Brassinosteroids and Their Drought-Induced Changes

Lenka Tůmová et al. PLoS One.

Abstract

The contents of endogenous brassinosteroids (BRs) together with various aspects of plant morphology, water management, photosynthesis and protection against cell damage were assessed in two maize genotypes that differed in their drought sensitivity. The presence of 28-norbrassinolide in rather high quantities (1-2 pg mg-1 fresh mass) in the leaves of monocot plants is reported for the first time. The intraspecific variability in the presence/content of the individual BRs in drought-stressed plants is also described for the first time. The drought-resistant genotype was characterised by a significantly higher content of total endogenous BRs (particularly typhasterol and 28-norbrassinolide) compared with the drought-sensitive genotype. On the other hand, the drought-sensitive genotype showed higher levels of 28-norcastasterone. Both genotypes also differed in the drought-induced reduction/elevation of the levels of 28-norbrassinolide, 28-norcastasterone, 28-homocastasterone and 28-homodolichosterone. The differences observed between both genotypes in the endogenous BR content are probably correlated with their different degrees of drought sensitivity, which was demonstrated at various levels of plant morphology, physiology and biochemistry.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Figures

Fig 1
Fig 1. Contents of total and individual brassinosteroids (BRs) in two maize genotypes (2023 and CE704).
Plants were either subjected to normal watering (control; grey columns) or to 14 days of withholding water (stress; black columns). Mean values ± SEM are shown (n = 3). Asterisks indicate significant (p≤0.05; *) or highly significant (p≤0.01; **) differences between mean values according to Tukey's tests made separately for each genotype (in case of the differences between control and stress treatment) or for each treatment (in case of the differences between both genotypes). BL … brassinolide, CS … castasterone, DS … dolichosterone, FM … leaf fresh mass, TY … typhasterol.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Selected parameters of plant morphology in two maize genotypes (2023 and CE704).
Plants were either subjected to normal watering (control; grey columns) or to 14 days of withholding water (stress; black columns). Mean values ± SEM are shown (n = 8). Asterisks indicate significant (p≤0.05; *) or highly significant (p≤0.01; **) differences between mean values according to Tukey's tests made separately for each genotype (in case of the differences between control and stress treatment) or for each treatment (in case of the differences between both genotypes).
Fig 3
Fig 3. Selected parameters of gas exchange, the osmotic potential and the contents of chlorophylls and carotenoids in leaves of two maize genotypes (2023 and CE704).
Plants were either subjected to normal watering (control; grey columns) or to 14 days of withholding water (stress; black columns). Mean values ± SEM are shown (n = 8 for gas exchange and the contents of photosynthetic pigments, n = 12 for osmotic potential). Asterisks indicate significant (p≤0.05; *) or highly significant (p≤0.01; **) differences between mean values according to Tukey's tests made separately for each genotype (in case of the differences between control and stress treatment) or for each treatment (in case of the differences between both genotypes).
Fig 4
Fig 4. The difference kinetics and the relative variable fluorescences calculated from OJIP analysis of two maize genotypes (2023 and CE704).
The difference kinetics ΔWOJ (A) reveals the K-band; ΔWOK (B) reveals the L-band. Only the part between the I and P points of the OJIP curve is shown for the relative variable fluorescence WOI (C). The normalization of OJIP curve between the I and P points with the maximum amplitude fixed as 1 is shown as the relative variable fluorescence WIP (D). Plants were subjected either to normal watering (control) or to 14 days of withholding water (stress). ΔWOJ and ΔWOK were calculated from the comparisons of the stressed and control plants; the latter are represented by the zero point of the respective y axes in graphs A and B. Mean values (n = 8) are shown. r.u. … relative units.
Fig 5
Fig 5. The contents of proline, H2O2, malondialdehyde (MDA), the antioxidant activities and the index of membrane injury in two maize genotypes (2023 and CE704).
Plants were either subjected to normal watering (control; grey columns) or to 14 days of withholding water (stress; black columns). Mean values ± SEM are shown (n = 6 for the contents of MDA, n = 4 for the other parameters). Asterisks indicate significant (p≤0.05; *) or highly significant (p≤0.01; **) differences between mean values according to Tukey's tests made separately for each genotype (in case of the differences between control and stress treatment) or for each treatment (in case of the differences between both genotypes).AsA … ascorbate, APX … ascorbate peroxidase, CAT … catalase, FM … leaf fresh mass.

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Grant support

This work was financially supported by the grant B/BIO/200516 of the Charles University Grant Agency (https://www.cuni.cz/UKEN-65.html) held by LT. Lenka Tůmová (LT) was also partly supported by the Charles University (https://www.cuni.cz/UKEN-65.html) research funding project SVV-2017-260426 and Olga Rothová (OR) by the Charles University (https://www.cuni.cz/UKEN-65.html) research funding project UNCE 204013. Danuše Tarkowská (DT) is grateful for financial support provided by the grant LO1204 of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (http://www.msmt.cz/?lang=2) through the National Program for Sustainability I. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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