Effects of Salicylic Acid and Calcium Chloride on Heat Tolerance of Poinsettia

in HortScience

Exogenous application of either salicylic acid (SA) or calcium chloride (CaCl2) to alleviate heat stress has been extensively studied. However, the effects of combined SA and CaCl2 treatment on the heat tolerance of poinsettia have been poorly studied. This study investigated the role of a foliar spray comprising SA and CaCl2 in managing heat tolerance of three poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd.) cultivars, Noel, Winter Rose (WR), and Ice Punch’ (IP). Plants were pretreated with SA, CaCl2, or combined SA and CaCl2 and then exposed to a temperature of 42 °C for 1 hour. Changes in the relative injury (RI) percentage, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and antioxidant enzyme activities were determined. All plants were then placed in an environment-controlled greenhouse for 14 days and evaluated. Lateral bud sprouting (%), new leaf numbers, and phenotypic appearance were recorded. Results revealed that the three poinsettia cultivars varied in their appearance, morphological growth patterns, and ability to tolerate high-temperature stress. Plant growth of ‘Noel’ was more robust than that of ‘WR’ and ‘IP’, which were considerably affected by heat stress, resulting in brown, withered leaves and defoliation. In general, the effects of the combined application of SA and CaCl2 on heat-tolerant ‘Noel’ were superior to those of individual applications and no treatment (for control groups) in terms of the RI percentage, lateral bud sprouting (%), and appearance under heat stress. Application of combined SA and CaCl2 for ‘Noel’ plants was more beneficial for enhancing catalase activity and resulted in the effective alleviation of decreased malondialdehyde content under heat stress. Treatment including 200 μΜ SA and 10 mm CaCl2 may alleviate heat stress and may prove useful in breeding programs focused on improving poinsettia cultivars.

Contributor Notes

This work was financially supported by the Agriculture and Food Agency, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan (107AS-7.5.3-FD-Z1), National Taiwan University from Excellence Research Program—Core Consortiums under the project of “Sustainable approach of water resources—Development and application of sponge city and bionic system technologies” (NTUCCP-107L891308) within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education and “Bridging water, energy and food nexus: Developing methodologies, risk management systems, substantive solutions and decision tools” (107-2627-M-002-015) by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan.

Corresponding authors. E-mail: r88628115@ntu.edu.tw or yschang@ntu.edu.tw.

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    Injurious levels of heat stress and effects of salicylic acid (SA) and/or CaCl2 application on the morphological appearance of poinsettia ‘Noel’ under heat stress. Level 1 (1 point): >6 leaves had become brown, withered, and defoliated. Level 2 (2 points): 5 or 6 leaves had become brown, withered, and defoliated. Level 3 (3 points): 3 or 4 leaves had become brown, withered, and defoliated. Level 4 (4 points): 1 or 2 leaves had become brown and withered. Level 5 (5 points): normal growth.

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    Effects of salicylic acid (SA) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) treatments on the appearance of poinsettia ‘Noel’ under heat stress.

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    Effects of salicylic acid (SA) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) treatments on the appearance of poinsettia ‘Winter Rose’ under heat stress.

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    Effects of salicylic acid (SA) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) treatments on the appearance of poinsettia ‘Ice Punch’ under heat stress.

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