Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 9–17 | Cite as

Ameliorative effects of squash (Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poiret) leaf extracts on oxidative stress

  • Sungbeom Lee
  • Jae Yeol Yoon
  • Ha Il Jung
  • Do Jin Lee
  • Dong Young Shin
  • Kyu Hwan Hyun
  • Yong In Kuk
Original paper


This study screened paraquat-tolerant plants among 10 plant species, including monocots and dicots angiosperms. Squash (Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poiret) and kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants exhibited the highest photooxidation-tolerant phenotypes upon a foliar treatment with paraquat. A foliar treatment with paraquat pre-mixed with leaf water extracts from the squash plant significantly alleviated paraquat-induced oxidative damage in maize, but this was not the case after a treatment with the hydrophobic phase of the leaf extracts. In particular, the water extract from young leaves (4th true leaf) of squash plants conferred tenfold higher tolerance to oxidative damage in paraquat-treated leave tissues compared to paraquat-only treatment. This tolerance was tightly linked not only to the increased amounts of ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbate antioxidants in the damaged leaves, but also to the reduced chlorophyll loss, lipid peroxidation, and cellular electrolyte leakage. Moreover, the protective effects of the water extract were apparent when using another bipyridyl herbicide, diquat, but not with a diphenyl-ether herbicide, oxyfluorfen. On the other hand, pre-treatment with the extract prior to the onset of drought or cold stress had no significant antioxidative effect on the treated tissues.


Leaf extracts Oxidative stress Paraquat-tolerance Squash 







Water extract


Distilled water


Boiled distilled water


Days after treatment




Ascorbic acid


Reactive oxygen species



This study was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (331-2008-1-F00003).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sungbeom Lee
    • 1
  • Jae Yeol Yoon
    • 2
  • Ha Il Jung
    • 4
  • Do Jin Lee
    • 3
  • Dong Young Shin
    • 2
  • Kyu Hwan Hyun
    • 2
  • Yong In Kuk
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Development in Resource PlantsSunchon National UniversityJeonnamSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural EducationSunchon National UniversityJeonnamSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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