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Improving vanadium stress tolerance of watermelon by grafting onto bottle gourd and pumpkin rootstock



Improving vanadium stress tolerance of watermelon by grafting onto bottle gourd and pumpkin rootstock



Plant Growth Regulation 85(1): 41-56



Vanadium (V) is a transition metal found in the Earth crust. V adversely affects plant growth and development. Besides several other management practices, grafting of scion cultivars onto appropriate rootstock provides a suitable solution. Grafting is an important agro-technical procedure utilized to enhance the capacity of plants to tolerate biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, watermelon was grafted onto bottle gourd and pumpkin rootstock, and self-grafted watermelon plants were utilized as a control. V was applied at the rate of 50 mg/L under hydroponic conditions. The result showed that V application substantially reduces the growth of watermelon plants, however, grafting of watermelon onto bottle gourd and pumpkin rootstock improves V stress tolerance of watermelon by reducing the V concentration in leaf tissues, improving the relative chlorophyll content (SPAD index) and photosynthetic assimilation, up-regulating the expression of SOD (Cla008698, Cla0012125, Cla009820 and Cla001158), glutathione S-transferase (Cla013224) and glutathione peroxidase (Cla021039) genes in the leaves, and enhancing the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT). The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the root tips showed that minimal damage of roots was observed for pumpkin roots compared with the roots of watermelon and bottle gourd under V stress conditions. So far as we know, these results are the first evidence that grafting mitigates V stress in plants.

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Accession: 066358631

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DOI: 10.1007/s10725-018-0372-x


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