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Open AccessArticle

Exogenously Applied Ascorbic Acid-Mediated Changes in Osmoprotection and Oxidative Defense System Enhanced Water Stress Tolerance in Different Cultivars of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorious L.)

1
Department of Biochemistry, Government College University, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
2
Department of Botany, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
3
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
4
Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
5
Department of Botany, S.P. College, Srinagar 190001, India
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010104
Received: 12 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Water-Deficit Stress)
The present study was conducted to examine the effect of exogenously applied ascorbic acid (AsA) on osmoprotectants and the oxidative defense system in four cultivars (16171, 16183, 16207 and 16246) of safflower under well-watered and water deficit conditions. Water stress (60% field capacity) significantly decreased the shoot and root fresh and dry weights, shoot and root lengths and chlorophyll contents in all four safflower cultivars, while it increased the leaf free proline, total phenolics, total soluble proteins, hydrogen peroxide content and activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase and peroxidase enzymes. Foliar-applied (100 mg L−1 and 150 mg L1) ascorbic acid caused a marked improvement in shoot and root fresh and dry weights, plant height, chlorophyll and AsA contents as well as the activity of peroxidase (POD) enzyme particularly under water deficit conditions. It also increased the accumulation of leaf proline, total phenolics, total soluble proteins and glycine betaine (GB) content in all four cultivars. Exogenously applied AsA lowered the contents of MDA and H2O2, and the activities of CAT and SOD enzymes. Overall, exogenously applied AsA had a positive effect on the growth of safflower plants under water deficit conditions which could be related to AsA-induced enhanced osmoprotection and regulation of antioxidant defense system.
Keywords: water stress; safflower; ascorbic acid; lipid peroxidation; antioxidants; osmoprotectants water stress; safflower; ascorbic acid; lipid peroxidation; antioxidants; osmoprotectants
MDPI and ACS Style

Farooq, A.; Bukhari, S.A.; Akram, N.A.; Ashraf, M.; Wijaya, L.; Alyemeni, M.N.; Ahmad, P. Exogenously Applied Ascorbic Acid-Mediated Changes in Osmoprotection and Oxidative Defense System Enhanced Water Stress Tolerance in Different Cultivars of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorious L.). Plants 2020, 9, 104.

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