, 47:347 | Cite as

Promotion of 5-aminolevulinic acid treatment on leaf photosynthesis is related with increase of antioxidant enzyme activity in watermelon seedlings grown under shade condition

  • Y. -P. Sun
  • Z. -P. Zhang
  • L. -J. Wang
Original Papers


Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mansfeld] is a photophilic plant, whose net photosynthetic rate was significantly decreased when seedlings were grown under low light condition. However, treatment with 100 mg kg−1 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) could significantly restore the photosynthetic ability under the environmental stress. The parameters of leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll modulated fluorescence and fast induction fluorescence of the ALA-treated plants were higher than that of the control. Additionally, ALA treatment increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Nevertheless, the treatment of diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC), an inhibitor of SOD activity, dramatically depressed photosynthesis of watermelon leaves, while ALA could reverse the inhibition of DDC. Therefore, it can be deduced that ALA promotion on photosynthesis of watermelon leaves under low light stress is attributed to its promotion on antioxidant enzyme activities, and the increased activities of the enzymes, which are mainly located near the reaction centers of PSI, can scavenge superoxide anions, leading to an increase of apparent electron transport rate and an alleviation of photosynthetic photoinhibition under the stressed environment.

Additional key words

5-aminolevulinic acid antioxidant enzymes chlorophyll fluorescence JIP test low light stress photosynthesis watermelon 



5-aminolevulinic acid


ascorbate peroxidase


intercellular CO2 concentration






transpiration rate


electron transport rate


maximum fluorescence


maximum fluorescence of the light-adapted leave


initial fluorescence


variable fluorescence


maximal photochemical effciency of PSII


fresh mass


approximate initial slope of the fluorescence transient


stomata conductance

JIP test

formulate a group of fluorescence parameters, which quantify the stepwise flow of energy through PSII


superoxide anion radical


oxygen evolving complex


chlorophyll a fluorescence transients


net photosynthetic rate


performance index on a basis of absorption






reduced QA, one electron acceptor bound in PQ


completely reduced QA


photochemical quenching


superoxide dismutase


relative variable fluorescence intensity at the J-step


amplitude of the K step


quantum yield of electron transport


possibility of a trapped exciton moves an electron into the electron transport chain beyond QA


actual photosynthetic efficiency


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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