Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 545–554 | Cite as

Natural and dark-induced nodule senescence in chickpea: nodule functioning and H2O2 scavenging enzymes

  • S. Sheokand
  • K. Swaraj
Original Paper


An investigation was carried out on chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) cv. C-235 inoculated withRhizobium sp.Cicer strain cv 4 Azr. Nodule functioning was monitored at 15 d intervals starting from 45 days after sowing (DAS) and inoculation in order to study nodule development and senescence under natural and stress conditions (dark treatments of 18 and 66 h). Maximum rate of N2-fixation was observed between 50 - 60 DAS. After this acetylene reducing activity (ARA) fell and it was negligible 75 DAS. This decline in ARA with ageing of plants and nodules was accompanied by a decline in leghemoglobin content and greening of the nodules. When 60 % of the nodule tissue had turned green 75 DAS, a sharp increase in nodule peroxidase activity (3.7 fold) was observed whereas the catalase activity was reduced by 50 % in comparison with the control. The glutathione-reductase and ascorbate-peroxidase activity followed a trend parallel to that in N2-fixation, but the variation was much smaller. The changes in the total soluble carbohydrates, cytosolic proteins and nitrogen content per se were not expressive. Dark treatments induced premature senescence of the nodules as was evident from the marked decrease in ARA. However, the decline in leghemoglobin content was relatively small as compared to ARA. The changes in cytosolic proteins, total soluble carbohydrates, peroxidase activity, catalase activity, glutathione reductase activity and ascorbate peroxidase activity of nodules under dark-induced nodule senescence were almost parallel to those observed under natural senescence.

Additional key words

acetylene reducing activity ascorbate peroxidase catalase Cicer arietinum leghemoglobin peroxidase 



acetylene reducing activity


ascorbate peroxidase


days after sowing






total soluble carbohydrates.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Sheokand
    • 1
  • K. Swaraj
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisarIndia

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