Exogenous silicon leads to increased antioxidant capacity in freezing-stressed pistachio leaves





Freezing stress limits photosynthesis and growth of plants. This may be attributed to the enhancement of freezing-associated oxidative damage. In this study, we followed precisely changes in the extent of lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage in leaves of pistachio (Pistacia vera ‘Ahmadaghaii’) plants exposed to foliar-applied silicon (Si) under freezing stress. The foliar-applied Si decreased significantly damaging effects of cold on relative water content (RWC), accompanied by an increase in shoot fresh mass (SFM). In addition, pre-Si treatment caused a significant reduction of the leaf area lost by freezing. There was a remarkable increase in phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity during recovery. Since leaf phenolic content was not affected by supplementary Si, the possibility that exogenously applied Si directly influences the activity of PAL seems thin. In the present work, freezing stress caused great membrane damage, as assessed by lipid peroxidation, but Si application significantly reduced the membrane damage because of an efficient scavenging by superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD). Under freezing, despite the increasing POD activity, Si-supplied plants accumulated the highest levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) may act as a signal for recovery ability from freezing injury. A positive correlation was found between the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) and the percentage of necrotic leaf area. This study suggests that the possible mechanisms for Si enhanced freezing resistance may be attributed to the higher antioxidant defense activity and lower lipid peroxidation through leaf water retention, in addition to its role as a mere physical barrier.



pistacia vera; antioxidants; enzymes; oxidation; damage; stress; freezing; fertilizer application; foliar application; leaf area; membranes; moisture content

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14720/aas.2015.105.1.05


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