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Journal of Seed Science

Print version ISSN 2317-1537


ABREU, Viviane Maria de et al. Physiological performance and expression of isozymes in maize seeds subjected to water stress. J. Seed Sci. [online]. 2014, vol.36, n.1, pp.40-47. ISSN 2317-1537.

Early characterization of genotypes, through the previous assessment of physiological quality of their seeds and their enzymatic systems, can provide parameters capable of aiding in the selection of new maize cultivars tolerant to water stress. Thus, this study was aimed at assessing seed performance of five different maize lines subjected to four different water stress levels. The physiological quality of seeds germinated under the osmotic potentials of 0.0, -0.3, -0.6 and -0.9 MPa was assessed by germination test, number of strong normal seedlings and T50, as well as by the expression of the isozymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), esterase (EST), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and of heat-resistant proteins. The osmotic potential of -0.9 MPa affected the physiological quality and vigor of seeds of all maize lines assessed. The highest values for the germination percent, in the lowest osmotic potentials assessed, were found in the seeds of line 63. However, seeds of line 91 were superior in regard to vigor. Increased expression of the enzymes SOD and CAT, considered as enzymes of the antioxidant system, was observed in seeds of lines 44 and 91. Thus, line 91 was considered as promising for tolerance to water stress.

Keywords : physiological quality; water deficit; drought tolerance.

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