Electrical conductivity as an indicator of damage due to low temperatures in beans leaves

Juliandra Rodrigues Rosisca, Carolina Maria Gaspar de Oliveira, Altamara Viviane de Souza Sartori, Renata Stolf-Moreira, Marcelo Augusto de Aguiar e Silva, Heverly Morais


The electrical conductivity test indirectly evaluates cell membrane disorganization by quantifying the electrolytes released into the water after tissue imbibing. The objective of this work was to evaluate methodological variations in the electrical conductivity test, for it to serve as an indicator of low temperature-induced damages and estimate the cold tolerance of bean plants. Cultivar IPR Uirapuru plants were subjected to minimum temperatures of 4 °C, 2 °C, 0 °C, -1 °C, -2 °C, -3 °C, and -4 °C for 1 h in a growth chamber under controlled conditions. After the treatment period, the response of plants to cold stress was evaluated by determination of the total protein content, and catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) enzymatic activities, and evaluation of photosystem II (Fm/Fv) efficiency and leaf anatomy. These results were compared with those obtained in the electrical conductivity test, which was performed in plants under cold stress as well as under a non-stress environment, with 2, 4, 6, and 8 leaf discs immersed in 30 mL of distilled water for 24 h in BOD, at temperatures of 25 °C, 30 °C, and 35°C. Analysis of variance was performed using a completely randomized design, and for electrical conductivity, a number of discs × cold stress temperature combinations were used for each soak temperature. The averages were compared using the Turkey's test at 5% and 10% probability. Pearson correlation coefficient (r) between the conductivity averages and other cold stress evaluation data was also performed. The results showed a marked reduction in the ratio (Fv/Fm) only in the treatments at -3 °C and -4°C, which indicated tissue death. At temperatures below 0°C, there was a collapse of the leaf blade tissues, and it was not possible to differentiate the palisade parenchyma from the spongy parenchyma in the treatments at -2°C, -3°C, and -4°C. There was an increase in the protein content since the temperature -3°C. The enzyme activity of CAT decrease at -4°C whereas that of APX increased. In the electrical conductivity test, there was a significant interaction between soak temperature and the number of discs, and an increase in conductivity of the solution with a decrease in temperature was verified in several treatments, among which, the combination that best correlated with the other tests was 25°C with six leaf discs. It was concluded that the electrical conductivity test presents results similar to those obtained from other physiological, biochemical, and anatomical tests, and therefore, it can be used to evaluate the damage caused by low temperatures in bean plants.


Oxidative stress; Cold; Enzymes; Membrane integrity.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2019v40n3p1011

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
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DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
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