Bano H(1)(2), Athar HU(1), Zafar ZU(1), Ogbaga CC(3), Ashraf M(4). Author information:
(1)Institute of Pure and Applied Biology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan,
(2)Department of Botany, The Women University Multan, Multan, Pakistan.
(3)Department of Biological Sciences, Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja,
(4)Department of Botany, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Developing drought-tolerant cultivars is mainly restricted due to poor knowledge of the mechanism behind drought tolerance. In the present work, available germplasm of Vigna radiata (mung bean) was screened for drought tolerance using multiple agronomic and physiological parameters and used to selected one drought-tolerant (NM-13-1) and one drought-sensitive (NM-54) cultivar for further studies. Plant water status and PSII activity were found to be potential physiological discriminating traits. Changes in PSII and PSI activity, accumulation of proline, oxidative damage, and antioxidants were further assessed in selected drought-sensitive and drought-tolerant cultivars. Drought stress reduced PSII efficiency and electron transport in both mung bean cultivars. Drought increased NPQ and Y(NPQ), a greater increase in NPQ and Y(NPQ) was found in the drought-tolerant cv NM-13-1, indicating that the drought-tolerant cultivar managed over-excitation of PSII by safe heat dissipation via photo-protective component of NPQ. A decrease in PSI efficiency with an increase in donor end limitation of PSI in both mung bean cultivars further confirmed that the electron transport through PSII became down-regulated. However, the drought-sensitive cv. NM-54 had poor ability to manage over-excitation of PSII through buildup of Y(NPQ) thereby causing greater oxidative stress. Mung bean cultivars counteracted oxidative stress by accumulation of proline and increasing POD activities. Drought-tolerant cv. NM-13-1 had higher proline accumulation and antioxidant potential than in the drought-sensitive cultivar. Overall, drought tolerance in the mung bean cultivars can be related to plant water status, PSII activity, Y(NPQ), and POD activity, which can be effectively used for selecting mung bean cultivars for drought tolerance.
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