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Salicylic acid mitigating damage to the photosynthetic apparatus and quality of Eugenia myrcianthes seedlings under water deficit


This study aimed to evaluate the effect of exogenous application of salicylic acid on the photosynthetic metabolism and quality of Eugenia myrcianthes seedlings under water deficit and their recovery potential after rehydration. Two water regimes were evaluated, as follows: control - plants irrigated daily (I) and water deficit (S), with and without the application of 400 mg L–1 of salicylic acid (SA), totaling four treatments. Seedlings were evaluated at three times: at the beginning of the experiment (T0), that is, when the irrigation was interrupted; when the photosynthetic rate reached values close to zero (P0 - 15 days after irrigation interruption), that is, when irrigation restarted; and when the photosynthetic rate was recovered (REC). Eugenia myrcianthes seedlings were negatively affected when subjected to water restriction; salicylic acid attenuated the damage to the photosynthetic apparatus by acting positively on the relative water content in the leaves, SPAD index, photosynthetic metabolism, superoxide dismutase and peroxidase enzyme activity, and seedling growth in P0. Eugenia myrchiantes presented potential for recovery after resumption irrigation. The application of SA contributed to the maintenance of gas exchanges, photochemical processes and quality of E. myrcianthes seedlings during and after water deficit, suggesting the promotion of plant resistance induction.

Key words
antioxidant enzymes; chlorophyll a fluorescence; ecophysiology; gas exchange; phytohormone

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