Protective effects of complementary Ca2+ on low-light-induced oxidative damage in tall fescue

Research paper by W. Z. Yang, J. J. Fu, L. Y. Yang, X. Zhang, Y. L. Zheng, F. Feng, Y. F. Xu

Indexed on: 12 Oct '14Published on: 12 Oct '14Published in: Russian Journal of Plant Physiology


Low-light (LL) intensity is a primary abiotic stressor that negatively influences turf grass quality. In the present experiment, we studied the effect of exogenous Ca2+ (0, 10, 50, 100, and 200 mM) on the antioxidant system, the accumulation of MDA and proline, the content of photosynthetic pigments in plant leaves in order to investigate whether exogenous Ca2+ treatment improves LL tolerance in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). We have found that LL significantly reduced a number of growth parameters (plant height, leaf width, leaf fresh weight, root fresh weight, leaf dry weight, and root dry weight), chlorophyll (Chl) a and Chl b contents, and carotenoid (Car) levels, while considerably enhancing electrolyte leakage (EL), MDA accumulation, calcium (Ca2+) concentration, and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide radical (O2·−). Moreover, LL significantly induced the activities of antioxidant enzymes, such as peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), and slightly increased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in tall fescue leaves. In contrast, POD and SOD activities declined considerably while CAT activity significantly increased in plant roots under LL stress. The application of 50 mM Ca2+ significantly improved the aforementioned growth parameters, the content of photosynthetic pigments, and further enhanced the activities of POD, SOD, and CAT, but decreased electrolyte leakage and MDA and H2O2 levels in the leaves and roots of tall fescue under LL stress. These results suggest that Ca2+ is likely involved in a resistance to LL by regulating antioxidant enzyme action in tall fescue leaves and roots.