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Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 25;5:11391. doi: 10.1038/srep11391.

The effect of exogenous calcium on mitochondria, respiratory metabolism enzymes and ion transport in cucumber roots under hypoxia.

He L1,2, Li B1, Lu X1,3, Yuan L1, Yang Y1, Yuan Y1, Du J1, Guo S1.

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Key Laboratory of Southern Vegetable Crop Genetic Improvement in Ministry of Agriculture, College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.
Horticulture Research Institute, Shanghai Academy Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Protected Horticulture Technology, Shanghai, 201403, China.
College of Life Science, Anhui Science and Technology University, Fengyang, Anhui 233100, China.


Hypoxia induces plant stress, particularly in cucumber plants under hydroponic culture. In plants, calcium is involved in stress signal transmission and growth. The ultimate goal of this study was to shed light on the mechanisms underlying the effects of exogenous calcium on the mitochondrial antioxidant system, the activity of respiratory metabolism enzymes, and ion transport in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Jinchun No. 2) roots under hypoxic conditions. Our experiments revealed that exogenous calcium reduces the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes in mitochondria under hypoxia. Exogenous calcium also enhances the accumulation of enzymes involved in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. We utilized fluorescence and ultrastructural cytochemistry methods to observe that exogenous calcium increases the concentrations of Ca(2+) and K(+) in root cells by increasing the activity of plasma membrane (PM) H(+)-ATPase and tonoplast H(+)-ATPase and H(+)-PPase. Overall, our results suggest that hypoxic stress has an immediate and substantial effect on roots. Exogenous calcium improves metabolism and ion transport in cucumber roots, thereby increasing hypoxia tolerance in cucumber.

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