Superoxide Dismutase and Stress Tolerance of Four Tomato Cultivars

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  • 1 Texas A&M Dallas, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas, TX 75252-6599
  • | 2 Laboratory of Tropical Agriculture, Division of Environmental Science and Technology, Postgraduate School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa, Oiwake-cho, Sakyoku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
  • | 3 Regional Agricultural Research Station, Soil Science Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Hathazari, Chittagong, Bangladesh
  • | 4 University of Maryland, Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture, Plant Science Building, Room 2130, College Park, MD 20742

Effects of water stress on superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, changes in protein content, leaf water potential (Ψl) and growth were studied in drought-sensitive Kyokko (KK) and Ratan (RT), and drought-tolerant TM 0126 (TM) and VF-134-1-2 (VF) cultivars of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) in order to obtain fundamental information for breeding drought tolerant cultivars that may be adapted to water stress in many parts of the world. Growth of drought-tolerant TM and VF was greater than that of drought-sensitive KK and RT under water stress conditions. Leaf water potential (Ψl) decreased by water stress treatments in all the cultivars, but the reduction was much more rapid and pronounced in KK and RT than VF and TM. Ψl of stressed cultivars decreased by 30% to 40% compared to the untreated control cultivars. The initial reduction in the range of 20% to 35% was more rapid in KK and RT than TM and VF. SOD activities were increased by water stress in all cultivars. Increase of SOD activities by water stress was much more rapid and pronounced in TM and VF than in KK and RT. Leaf protein concentration was decreased by the water stress treatments in all cultivars evaluated. In KK and RT, much more rapid reductions in protein concentration were observed than in TM and VF. The regression analysis of Ψl and SOD suggest the possibility to using SOD activities as an additional screening criterion for tomato drought tolerance improvement.

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