Exogenous nitric oxide improves sugarcane growth and photosynthesis under water deficit

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Silveira, Neidiquele M.
Frungillo, Lucas
Marcos, Fernanda C. C.
Pelegrino, Milena T. [UNIFESP]
Miranda, Marcela T.
Seabra, Amedea B. [UNIFESP]
Salgado, Ione
Machado, Eduardo C.
Ribeiro, Rafael V.
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Nitric oxide (NO)-mediated redox signaling plays a role in alleviating the negative impact of water stress in sugarcane plants by improving root growth and photosynthesis. Drought is an environmental limitation affecting sugarcane growth and yield. The redox-active molecule nitric oxide (NO) is known to modulate plant responses to stressful conditions. NO may react with glutathione (GSH) to form S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), which is considered the main reservoir of NO in cells. Here, we investigate the role of NO in alleviating the effects of water deficit on growth and photosynthesis of sugarcane plants. Well-hydrated plants were compared to plants under drought and sprayed with mock (water) or GSNO at concentrations ranging from 10 to 1000 mu M. Leaf GSNO sprayed plants showed significant improvement of relative water content and leaf and root dry matter under drought compared to mock-sprayed plants. Additionally, plants sprayed with GSNO (a parts per thousand yen 100 mu M) showed higher leaf gas exchange and photochemical activity as compared to mock-sprayed plants under water deficit and after rehydration. Surprisingly, a raise in the total S-nitrosothiols content was observed in leaves sprayed with GSH or GSNO, suggesting a long-term role of NO-mediated responses to water deficit. Experiments with leaf discs fumigated with NO gas also suggested a role of NO in drought tolerance of sugarcane plants. Overall, our data indicate that the NO-mediated redox signaling plays a role in alleviating the negative effects of water stress in sugarcane plants by protecting the photosynthetic apparatus and improving shoot and root growth.
Planta. New York, v. 244, n. 1, p. 181-190, 2016.