Exogenous Melatonin Protects Canola Plants from Toxicity of Excessive Copper
Physiological mechanisms of canola (Brassica napus L., cv. Westar) plant protection afforded by melatonin (at 0.1–100 μM) from copper salts (at 10–100 μM) were studied. Plants were cultivated on Hoagland–Snyder medium. At the age of 5 weeks, they were subjected to melatonin, copper sulfate, or their combination for 7 days. It was found that excessive copper in a nutrient medium inhibited the dry biomass accumulation against the control by 25–85%. Copper sulfate diminished the content of chlorophylls and carotenoids and functional activity of the thylakoid membranes in the chloroplasts. It increased 2.0–2.5 times the lipid peroxidation (LPO) intensity and the proline level up to 20 times. Melatonin reduced the changes caused by copper, and the degree of the protection depended on melatonin and CuSO4 concentrations. It was found that melatonin decreased the oxidative stress and proline accumulation, both induced by CuSO4. At first, we established the positive correlation (with the coefficient 0.8240) between the level of oxidative stress and proline content in the presence of CuSO4. Possible mechanisms of protection by melatonin and its biological role under conditions of technogenic stress are discussed.
KeywordsBrassica napus CO2/H2 gas exchange copper ions malondialdehyde melatonin photosynthetic pigments proline
reactive oxygen species
photosynthetic quantum yield for PSII
maximal quantum yield
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