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Plant Physiol. 1997 Jun;114(2):695-704.

Changes in Activities of Antioxidant Enzymes and Their Relationship to Genetic and Paclobutrazol-Induced Chilling Tolerance of Maize Seedlings.

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Department of Horticultural Science (R.G.P., M.V.R., G.P., D.P.M.), and Department of Environmental Biology (R.A.F.), University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


The potential role of antioxidant enzymes in protecting maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings from chilling injury was examined by analyzing enzyme activities and isozyme profiles of chilling-susceptible (CO 316) and chilling-tolerant (CO 328) inbreds. Leaf superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in CO 316 was nearly one-half that of CO 328, in which the high activity was maintained during the chilling and postchilling periods. Activity of glutathione reductase (GR) was much higher in roots than in leaves. CO 328 also possessed a new GR isozyme that was absent in roots of CO 316. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity was considerably lower in leaves of CO 328 than in CO 316, and nearly similar in roots. Paclobutrazol treatment of CO 316 induced several changes in the antioxidant enzyme profiles and enhanced their activities, especially those of SOD and APX, along with the induction of chilling tolerance. These results suggest that increased activities of SOD in leaves and GR in roots of CO 328, as well as SOD and APX in leaves and roots of paclobutrazol-treated CO 316, contribute to their enhanced chilling tolerance.

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