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Exogenous hydrogen sulfide alleviates salt stress by improving antioxidant defenses and the salt overly sensitive pathway in wheat seedlings

Ding, Huina, Ma, Dongyun, Huang, Xin, Hou, Junfeng, Wang, Chenyang, Xie, Yingxin, Wang, Yonghua, Qin, Haixia, Guo, Tiancai
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2019 v.41 no.7 pp. 123
Triticum, antioxidant activity, antioxidant enzymes, ascorbic acid, enzyme activity, gene expression regulation, genes, glutathione, hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen sulfide, leaves, malondialdehyde, mitogen-activated protein kinase, photosynthesis, salt stress, seedlings, signal transduction, stress response, stress tolerance, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, wheat
Hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) has the ability to strengthen plant stress tolerance; however, the effects of H₂S on wheat seedlings under salt stress and the underlying molecular mechanism are still unclear. This study examined the effects of exogenous NaHS as H₂S donor on photosynthesis, antioxidant system, and the expression profile of genes related to antioxidant defense responses, the salt overly sensitive (SOS) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways in wheat seedlings treated with NaCl stress. H₂S application improved photosynthesis, and decreased H₂O₂ and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in wheat seedling leaves under NaCl stress. In addition, antioxidant enzyme activity and the content of ascorbic acid and reduced glutathione increased with H₂S application. Moreover, H₂S pretreatment up-regulated expression levels of genes related to antioxidant system, SOS pathway and MAPK pathway as well as the transcription factor dehydration-responsive element binding gene. Overall, these findings suggest that H₂S alleviates salt stress in wheat seedlings not only by strengthening antioxidant defense systems, but by coordinating signal transduction pathways related to the stress response at a transcriptional level.