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Photosynthetic and antioxidant responses to drought during sugarcane ripening

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Cristina R. G. Sales
  • Paulo Eduardo Ribeiro Marchiori
  • Ricardo Silverio Machado
  • Adilton Vasconcelos Fontenele
  • Eduardo Caruso Machado
  • Joaquim Albenisio Gomes Silveira
  • Rafael Vasconcelos Ribeiro
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2015
Issue number4
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)547-554
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/05/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Water deficit is an important exogenous factor that enhances the influx of sucrose into sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) stem internodes during ripening, when photosynthetic ability in supplying sinks is essential. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that drought tolerance in sugarcane is associated with an effective antioxidant protection during the ripening phase that might maintain a favorable redox balance in chloroplasts and protect photosynthesis under drought conditions. Two commercial sugarcane varieties, IACSP94-2094 (tolerant) and IACSP96-2042 (sensitive), with contrasting behavior under water deficit, were subjected to water withholding during the ripening stage. Our results revealed that the tolerant variety was less affected by water deficit, maintaining photosynthesis for a longer period and showing a faster recovery after rehydration as compared to the sensitive one. As consequence, the tolerant variety faced lesser excess of light energy at PSII. The maintenance of photosynthesis under water deficit and its fast recovery after rehydration resulted in the lower leaf H2O2 concentration and favorable redox status in the drought-tolerant genotype, which was associated with stimulation of superoxide dismutase during ripening. Our results also revealed that ferric superoxide dismutase isoforms were strongly enhanced under drought conditions, playing an important role in chloroplast redox homeostasis.