College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, China; College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, 310018, Zhejiang, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Senna obtusifolia is a widely used medicinal herb in Asian countries. To select elite cultivars, S. obtusifolia seeds were carried by "ShenZhou Ⅷ" recoverable satellite to space. Three spaceflight-subjected lines (SP-lines), namely QC10, QC29, QC46, and their ground control line (GC-line) were cultivated on the ground. Previous studies demonstrated that biological traits and secondary metabolites are different between SP-lines and GC-line. Here, we combined physiological, transcriptional, and metabolic studies to compare the differences between SP-lines and GC-line. The results showed that activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) were dramatically increased in SP-lines as compared to that of GC-line. Transcript levels of SOD, POD, CAT, APX, and MDHAR were significantly up-regulated in SP-lines. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) contents decreased in SP-lines. Seed yields of QC29 and QC46 were considerably higher than that of GC-line. Besides, QC29 had significantly higher aurantio-obtusin content. Pearson correlation coefficient analysis revealed positive relationships between POD and aurantio-obtusin, as well as APX and aurantio-obtusin. In conclusion, SP-lines have higher antioxidant gene expression level and antioxidant enzyme activity as compared to that of GC-line. With higher seed yield and aurantio-obtusin content, QC29 can be used to breed elite S. obtusifolia cultivars. This study provides a new insight in SP-lines and paves the way to breed elite S. obtusifolia cultivars in the future.