Nitric oxide alleviates salt stress in seed germination and early seedling growth of pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L.) by enhancing physiological and biochemical parameters.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2020 Jan 15; 187:109785.EE
The germination and seedling vigor of crops is negatively affected by soil salinity. Nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as a key molecule involved in many physiological events in plants. The objective of present study was to evaluate the impact of exogenous sodium nitroprusside (SNP, a NO donor) at different concentrations on the seed germination and early seedling growth characteristics of pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L.) under NaCl stress. 100 mM NaCl stress markedly inhibited the seed germination potential, germination index, vitality index and growth of radicles and plumules. SNP pretreatment attenuated the salt stress effects in a dose-dependent manner, as indicated by enhancing the characteristics of seed germination and early seedling growth parameters, and the mitigating effect was most pronounced at 10 μM SNP. Efficient antioxidant systems were activated by SNP pre-treatment, and which effectively increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and reduced contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the production rate of superoxide anion radical (O2·-) in radicles and plumules, thereby preventing oxidative damage from NaCl stress. SNP pre-treatment also increased the contents of proline and soluble sugar in radicles and plumules under NaCl stress. In addition, SNP pre-treatment significantly increased the K+ contents and decreased Na+ contents in radicles and plumules, resulting in the increased level of K+/Na+ ratio. Our results demonstrated that SNP application on pakchoi seeds may be a good option to improve seed germination and seedling growth under NaCl stress by modulating the physiological responses resulting in better seed germination and seedling growth.