Responses of succulents to drought: Comparative analysis of four Sedum (Crassulaceae) species

Aleksandra Koźmińska , Mohamad Al Hassan , Alina Wiszniewska , Ewa Hanus-Fajerska , Monica Boscaiu , Oscar Vicente


The increasing frequency and intensity of drought periods is a serious threat for agriculture, prompting research to select and develop crop species and cultivars with enhanced water stress tolerance. Drought responses were studied in four ornamental Sedum species under controlled greenhouse conditions, by withholding watering of the plants for four weeks. Determination of growth parameters (stem length, fresh weight) allowed establishing the relative degree of tolerance of the selected species as S. spurium > S. ochroleucum > S. sediforme > S. album. The levels of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls a and b and total carotenoids), oxidative stress [using malondialdehyde (MDA) as a marker], non-enzymatic antioxidants (total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids) and putative osmolytes [proline (Pro) and total soluble sugars] were measured in leaves of control and stressed plants, to correlate drought tolerance with the activation of specific response mechanisms. The results obtained indicate that a higher tolerance to water deficit in Sedum is associated with: a) relatively lower stress-induced degradation of chlorophylls and carotenoids, especially of the latter (which did not decrease in water-stressed plants of S. spurium, the most tolerant species, whereas it was reduced to about 40% of the control in S. album, the most sensitive); b) no increase in MDA levels, reflecting the lack of drought-induced oxidative stress; and c) higher Pro contents in the non-stressed controls of the taxa most resistant to drought, which could be the basis of constitutive mechanisms of tolerance. However, Pro contribution to drought tolerance in Sedum must be based on an ‘osmoprotectant’ role, as its concentrations, below 16 μmol g−1 DW in all cases, are too low to have any significant osmotic effect. The identification of these biochemical markers of drought tolerance should help to develop rapid and efficient screening procedures to select Sedum taxa with enhanced tolerance when comparing different species within the genus, or different cultivars within a given species.
Author Aleksandra Koźmińska (FoBaH / IoPBaB / DoBaPP)
Aleksandra Koźmińska,,
- Department of Botany and Plant Physiology
, Mohamad Al Hassan
Mohamad Al Hassan,,
, Alina Wiszniewska (FoBaH / IoPBaB / DoBaPP)
Alina Wiszniewska,,
- Department of Botany and Plant Physiology
, Ewa Hanus-Fajerska (FoBaH / IoPBaB / DoBaPP)
Ewa Hanus-Fajerska,,
- Department of Botany and Plant Physiology
, Monica Boscaiu
Monica Boscaiu,,
, Oscar Vicente
Oscar Vicente,,
Journal seriesScientia Horticulturae, ISSN 0304-4238, e-ISSN 1879-1018, (N/A 140 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishSucculence, Water deficit, Osmolytes, Antioxidants, Growth response
ASJC Classification1108 Horticulture
Internal identifierWBIO/2019/6
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)140
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 2; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.246; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 1.961 (2) - 2018=2.315 (5)
Citation count*
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FinansowanieThe work was supported in part by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of The Republic of Poland as DS 3500/ZBiFR-IBRiB-WBIO-UR and the Erasmus+Programme granted for Aleksandra Koźmińska to complete her doctoral studies
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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