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FRIES, Daniela Deitos et al. Growth of maize 'Saracura' (BRS-4154) and a-amylase and invertases activity associated with the increase of flooding tolerance caused by exogenous calcium. Bragantia [online]. 2007, vol.66, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 0006-8705.

This research evaluated the plantlet growth and carbohydrate metabolism associated with the increase in hypoxia tolerance caused by calcium presence during germination and/or flooding of maize plantlets with different ages. The experiment was conducted at Universidade Federal de Lavras, MG, in 2002. Maize caryopses (var.'Saracura') were germinated in water or CaCl2. After two and four days, the plantlets were submitted to flooding in PVC tubes with buffer (with or without CaCl2) during three days, being evaluated the survival, dry weight and biochemical characteristics. Calcium increased plantlet survival to flooding at four days, although there was no influence on two-day samples. Flooding reduced the plantlet dry weight without affect on the recovery after stress, therefore calcium influenced dry weight accumulation after hypoxia only in plantlets at four days, showing a faster recovery from damages caused during the flooding period, which also occurs in plantlets treated at two days of germination, but independently of this element. Younger plantlets also showed higher mobilization of the starch reserves, as well as higher translocation and utilization of these reserves. Flooding reduced drastically the vacuole acid invertase activity, independent of calcium presence, demonstrating that it has no participation in the processes coordinated by this enzyme. The reduction in the invertase activity favors a lower hexose concentration, decreasing anaerobic respiration and, consequently, the production of toxic substances, thereby increasing the survival of plantlets in hypoxia conditions.

Keywords : Invertase; a-amylase; calcium; hypoxia.

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