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Potassium-Induced Regulation of Cellular Antioxidant Defense and Improvement of Physiological Processes in Wheat under Water Deficit Condition

Abdul Awal Chowdhury Masud1, Md. Fazlul Karim1, M. H. M. Borhannuddin Bhuyan2, Jubayer Al Mahmud3, Kamrun Nahar4, Masayuki Fujita5, Mirza Hasanuzzaman1,*
1 Department of Agronomy, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, 1207, Bangladesh
2 Citrus Research Center, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Jaintapur, 3156, Bangladesh
3 Department of Agroforestry and Environmental Science, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, 1207, Bangladesh
4 Department of Agricultural Botany, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, 1207, Bangladesh
5 Laboratory of Plant Stress Responses, Department of Applied Biological Sciences, Kagawa University, Kagawa, 761-0795, Japan
* Corresponding Author: Mirza Hasanuzzaman. Email:
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Plant Physiology for Crop Production and Sustainable Agriculture)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2021, 90(2), 353-372.

Received 30 July 2020; Accepted 07 October 2020; Issue published 07 February 2021


Drought is the most common form of abiotic stress that reduces plant growth and productivity. It causes plant injuries through elevated production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Potassium (K) is a vital plant nutrient that notably ameliorates the detrimental effect of drought stress in the plant. A pot experiment was conducted at the Laboratory of Plant Stress Responses, Faculty of Agriculture, Kagawa University, Japan, under controlled environment of green house to explore the role of K in mitigating drought severity in wheat (Triticum asevitum L.) seedlings. Three days after germination, seedlings were exposed to three water regimes viz., 100, 50, and 20% field capacity (FC) for 21 days. Potassium was adjusted in Hoagland nutrient solution at 0, 6 and 12 mM concentration and applied to pot instead of normal water. Results show that, water deficit stress notably reduced plant growth, biomass accumulation, leaf relative water content (RWC) along with reduced photosynthetic pigments. Increased amount of biochemical stress markers viz., malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), methylglyoxal (MG), proline (Pro) as well as an impaired antioxidant defense system were observed in drought affected wheat plants. On the contrary, K supplementation resulted in improvement of biochemical and physiological parameters that worked behind in improving growth and development of the wheat plants. In addition, enzymes of ascorbateglutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle were also enhanced by supplemented K that accelerated the ROS detoxification process in plant. Although glyoxalse system did not performed well till MG was detoxified might following another short stepped pathways. Our results revealed that drought stressed plants showed better performances in terms of biochemical and physiological attributes, antioxidant defense and glyoxalase system, as well as ROS detoxification due to K supplementation with better performance at 12 mM K added in 50% FC growing condition.


Abiotic stress; drought; plant nutrient; relative water content; reactive oxygen species; antioxidant; H2O2; methylglyoxal

Cite This Article

Awal, A., Karim, M. F., H., M., Mahmud, J. A., Nahar, K. et al. (2021). Potassium-Induced Regulation of Cellular Antioxidant Defense and Improvement of Physiological Processes in Wheat under Water Deficit Condition. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 90(2), 353–372.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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