DOI: 10.7717/peerj.15343 ISSN: 2167-8359

Glutathione-mediated changes in productivity, photosynthetic efficiency, osmolytes, and antioxidant capacity of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) grown under water deficit

Taia A. Abd El Mageed, Wael Semida, Khoulood A. Hemida, Mohammed A.H. Gyushi, Mostafa M. Rady, Abdelsattar Abdelkhalik, Othmane Merah, Marian Brestic, Heba I. Mohamed, Ayman El Sabagh, Magdi T. Abdelhamid
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience

Globally, salinity and drought are severe abiotic stresses that presently threaten vegetable production. This study investigates the potential exogenously-applied glutathione (GSH) to relieve water deficits on Phaseolus vulgaris plants cultivated in saline soil conditions (6.22 dS m−1) by evaluating agronomic, stability index of membrane, water satatus, osmolytes, and antioxidant capacity responses. During two open field growing seasons (2017 and 2018), foliar spraying of glutathione (GSH) at 0.5 (GSH1) or 1.0 (GSH1) mM and three irrigation rates (I100 = 100%, I80 = 80% and I60 = 60% of the crop evapotranspiration) were applied to common bean plants. Water deficits significantly decreased common bean growth, green pods yield, integrity of the membranes, plant water status, SPAD chlorophyll index, and photosynthetic capacity (Fv/Fm, PI), while not improving the irrigation use efficiency (IUE) compared to full irrigation. Foliar-applied GSH markedly lessened drought-induced damages to bean plants, by enhancing the above variables. The integrative I80 + GSH1 or GSH2 and I60 + GSH1 or GSH2 elevated the IUE and exceeded the full irrigation without GSH application (I100) treatment by 38% and 37%, and 33% and 28%, respectively. Drought stress increased proline and total soluble sugars content while decreased the total free amino acids content. However, GSH-supplemented drought-stressed plants mediated further increases in all analyzed osmolytes contents. Exogenous GSH enhanced the common bean antioxidative machinery, being promoted the glutathione and ascorbic acid content as well as up-regulated the activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, and glutathione peroxidase. These findings demonstrate the efficacy of exogenous GSH in alleviating water deficit in bean plants cultivated in salty soil.

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