Exogenous application of brassinolide can alter morphological and physiological traits of Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvelev under room and high temperatures
Plant growth regulating substances are involved in the physiological and metabolic processes of plants and enable them to cope with numerous environmental stresses. The effect of exogenously applied brassinolide (BR) with various concentrations (0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 mg L-1) was studied on morphological and physiological traits of Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvelev under room and high temperatures in pots. The experimental results revealed that high temperature stress substantially perturbed growth, photosynthetic pigments, and root activity of L. chinensis; however, the deleterious effects of high temperature were partially ameliorated by the foliar application of BR. Compared to room temperature, high temperature stress decreased the plant height, leaf area, plant fresh and dry weight, chlorophyll a and b content, chlorophyll a/b ratio as well as root activity, while exacerbated the membrane damage as indicated by enhanced production of malondialdehyde (MDA). Accumulation of proline content, soluble protein and sugar content in L. chinensis improved by heat stress, compared with normal temperature; application of BR further improved their production thus aiding in the attainment of tolerance against heat stress. Elevated levels of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and glutathione reductase (GR) were observed under heat stress compared to room temperature, however, application of BR further proved beneficial in this regard. Our results indicated that BR could improve the growth and development of L. chinensis by enhancing the biosynthesis of photosynthetic pigments, osmolytes and antioxidant enzymes system in plants under both room and high temperature.