Effects of exogenous putrescine on gas-exchange characteristics and chlorophyll fluorescence of NaCl-stressed cucumber seedlings

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The effects of 10 mM putrescine (Put) treated by spraying on leaves on growth, chlorophyll content, photosynthetic gas-exchange characteristics, and chlorophyll fluorescence were investigated by growing cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L. cv. ChangChun mici) using hydroponics with or without 65 mM NaCl as a salt stress. Salt stress caused the reduction of growth such as leaf area, root volume, plant height, and fresh and dry weights. Furthermore, net photosynthesis rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), and transpiration rate (Tr) were also reduced by NaCl, but water use efficiency (WUE; Pn/Tr) showed a tendency to be enhanced rather than reduced by NaCl. However, Put alleviated the reduction of Pn by NaCl, and showed a further reduction of Ci by NaCl. The reduction of gs and Tr by NaCl was not alleviated at all. The enhancement of WUE by NaCl was shown to have no alleviation at day 1 after starting the treatment, but after that, the enhancement was gradually reduced till the control level. Maximum quantum efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) showed no effects by any conditions based on the combination of NaCl and Put, and in addition, kept constant values in plants grown in each nutrient solution during this experimental period. The efficiency of excitation energy capture by open photosystem II (PSII) (Fv′/Fm′), actual efficiency of PSII (ΦPSII), and the coefficient on photochemical quenching (qP) of plants with NaCl were reduced with time, and the reduction was alleviated till the control level by treatment with Put. The Fv′/Fm′, ΦPSII, and qP of plants without NaCl and/or with Put showed no variation during the experiment. Non-photochemical quenching of the singlet excited state of chlorophyll a (NPQ) showed quite different manner from the others as mentioned above, namely, continued to enhance during the experiment.

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