Improved salt tolerance by α-tocopherol in soybean involves up-regulation of ascorbate-glutathione cycle and secondary metabolites
The effects of α-tocopherol on growth, photosynthesis, oxidative parameters, and tolerance mechanisms in soybean under increased salinity were studied. Salinity stress reduced shoot length, dry weight, chlorophyll and carotenoids, photosynthesis, and PSII activity; however, α-tocopherol mitigated the decline considerably. Salinity stress caused accumulation of superoxide (O2-) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), thereby increased lipid peroxidation and decreased membrane stability index. Application of α-tocopherol ameliorated oxidative damage by reducing lipid peroxidation and downregulating lipoxygenase activity. The up-regulation of antioxidant and glyoxylase systems protected soybean from the damaging effects of ROS and methylglyoxal. Moreover the content of ascorbate, reduced glutathione and α-tocopherol increased significantly. The activity of γ-glutamyl kinase also increased due to application of α-tocopherol and accumulation of Na+ was significantly declined with enhancement in K+ uptake. Therefore results of present study revealed the beneficial effect of foliar application of α-tocopherol under salinity stress in soybean.
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