Effects of exogenous melatonin on growth and physiological characteristics of Agropyron mongolicum seedlings under drought stress
WANG Jing, FU Bingzhe, LI Shuxia, WANG Xing, SONG Wenxue, YE Yunong, HU Pengfei, WANG Tongrui
To clarify the alleviation effect of exogenous melatonin (MT) on Agropyron mongolicum under drought stress, we examined the response of A. mongolicum ‘Yanchi’ seedlings to simulated drought stress with polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG-6000), by investigating the effects of exogenous addition of different concentrations (0, 1, 10, 50, 100, 150 and 200 mg·L-1) of MT on seedlings growth and physiological characteristics under drought stress. The results showed that drought stress significantly inhibited the growth of A. mongolicum seedlings, and that exogenous addition of different concentrations of MT could alleviate the growth inhibition caused by drought stress, with the strongest mitigation effect observed at MT concentration of 100 mg·L-1. Compared with the drought stress treatment alone, exogenous addition of 100 mg·L-1 MT under drought stress increased plant height, aboveground dry weight, and leaf relative water content by 58.2%, 121.2% and 48.1%. The contents of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, carotenoids increased by 48.7%, 80.8% and 38.3%, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and root activity increased by 12.6%, 33.9% and 39.1%, and the contents of ascorbic acid and glutathione increased by 19.5% and 18.3%, respectively. The contents of proline, soluble sugar and soluble protein were increased by 16.2%, 32.6% and 14.3%, while that of malondialdehyde, hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion radical were decreased by 45.8%, 65.8% and 30.8%, respectively. In summary, exogenous addition of 100 mg·L-1 MT could improve drought tolerance of A. mongolicum seedlings by promoting growth, enhancing antioxidant capacity, increasing the content of osmoregulation substances, inhibiting the excessive production of reactive oxygen, and reducing membrane peroxide level.