Four-day-old seedlings of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Marvdasht) can tolerate severe dehydration and recover after re-watering. In order to clarify tolerance mechanism, in a completely randomized design, the seedlings were exposed to drought by complete water cessation for 10 and 20 days, followed by re-watering for 3 and 7 days. Upon dehydration, the activity of α-amylase increased whereas growth parameters; photosynthetic pigments; and the activities of lipoxygenase, indole acetic acid (IAA) oxidase, and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) decreased. The activity of APX and the expression of its gene, however, increased after re-watering. Prolonged dehydration was also accompanied by increase in sucrose, soluble proteins, fructans, and certain amino acids, e.g. proline, glutamine, and valine. The results indicated that during dehydration, 4-day-old wheat seedlings shifted their energy expenditure from basal metabolism to withstand water deficiency via lowering the activity of membrane-damaging enzymes and enhancing the production of osmoprotectants.
- drought stress