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Alleviation of Water Deficit Stress Effects by Foliar Application of Ascorbic Acid on Zea mays L

Dolatabadian, A., Modarres Sanavy, S.A.M., Sharifi, M.
Journal of agronomy and crop science 2009 v.195 no.5 pp. 347-355
Zea mays, corn, water stress, drought, ascorbic acid, foliar application, signs and symptoms (plants), antioxidants, enzyme activity, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase, catechol oxidase, proline, malondialdehyde, free radical scavengers, free radicals, chlorophyll, dehydroascorbic acid, reactive oxygen species
The effects of water-deficit stress and foliar application of ascorbic acid were studied in leaves of Zea mays L. (single cross 704). The activity of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase and polyphenol oxidase was clearly increased by water-deficit stress. Foliar application of ascorbic acid reduced stress-induced and antioxidative enzymes activities. Proline and malondialdehyde levels were decreased in water-deficit stressed plants by ascorbic acid application. It seems that, ascorbic acid application helps the plants for better resistance under the stress by inactivation and scavenging of free radicals. Chlorophyll content was also decreased by water-deficit stress. The significant decrease of chlorophyll content was obtained in stressed plant than control. Ascorbate was oxidized to dehydroascorbate whereupon total ascorbate was decreased and dehydroascorbate was increased in leaves. The results of the present study indicated that ascorbic acid reduced the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species and improved plant resistance to water stress. In brief, ascorbic acid treatment reduced the damaging action of drought and decreased enzyme activity due to scavenging of reactive oxygen species; thereupon it may be effective for the improvement of stressed plants in arid and semi-arid regions.