Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 557–573 | Cite as

Brassinosteroids Confer Tolerance to Salt Stress in Eucalyptus urophylla Plants Enhancing Homeostasis, Antioxidant Metabolism and Leaf Anatomy

  • Victor Pereira de Oliveira
  • Michael Douglas Roque Lima
  • Breno Ricardo Serrão da Silva
  • Bruno Lemos Batista
  • Allan Klynger da Silva LobatoEmail author


The sodium ion (Na+) is potentially toxic to plants because it can cause K+/Na+ imbalances, oxidative stress and negatively affect growth. Brassinosteroids (BRs), including 24-epibrassinolide (EBR), is an organic substance, biodegradable and positively contributes to plant metabolism. The aim of this research was to investigate whether EBR application via the leaves can enhance homeostasis and to examine the impacts of EBR on the anatomical, physiological, biochemical and morphological behaviours of young Eucalyptus urophylla plants exposed to salt stress. The experiment had four treatments: two salt conditions (0 and 250 mM NaCl, described as − Na+ and + Na+, respectively) and two concentrations of 24-epibrassinolide (0 and 50 nM EBR, described as − EBR and + EBR, respectively). The results suggest that EBR mitigated the deleterious effects caused by salt stress in young E. urophylla plants, thereby improving homeostasis related to the K+/Na+ ratio and increasing the nutrient contents of the tissues. Plants exposed to both Na+ and EBR showed increases in photosynthetic pigments and photochemical efficiency. This result may be a result of the antioxidant system, specifically, the significant increases in the CAT (20%) and APX (51%) enzymes, which were comparable to plants receiving equal treatment without Na+. Additionally, this steroid had benefits for gas exchange and growth that were associated with leaf anatomy and were confirmed by increases in stomatal density (23%), palisade parenchyma (14%) and spongy parenchyma (25%). Therefore, our results confirm that the exogenous application of EBR resulted in tolerance to salt stress.


Ascorbate peroxidase Gas exchange Salinity Stomatal performance 24-Epibrassinolide 



This research had financial supports from Fundação Amazônia de Amparo a Estudos e Pesquisas (FAPESPA/Brazil), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq/Brazil) and Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia (UFRA/Brazil) given to AKSL. In other hand, VPO was supported with scholarships from Programa de Educação Tutorial (PET/Brazil).

Author Contributions

AKSL was the advisor of this project, planning all phases of this research. VPO and MDRL conducted the experiment in the greenhouse and performed physiological, biochemical and morphological determinations, while BRSS measured anatomical parameters and BLB performed nutritional determinations and helped in drafting the manuscript and in interpreting the results.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Pereira de Oliveira
    • 1
  • Michael Douglas Roque Lima
    • 1
  • Breno Ricardo Serrão da Silva
    • 1
  • Bruno Lemos Batista
    • 2
  • Allan Klynger da Silva Lobato
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Núcleo de Pesquisa Vegetal Básica e AplicadaUniversidade Federal Rural da AmazôniaParagominasBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Ciências Naturais e HumanasUniversidade Federal do ABCSanto AndréBrazil

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