Nitrogen source influences the antioxidative system of soybean plants under hypoxia and re-oxygenation

ABSTRACT: In this work, we compared nitrate-supplied plants (non-nodulated) with non-nitrate-supplied plants (nodulated) under oxygen privation of root system (hypoxia) and re-oxygenation (post-hypoxia; recovery) in order to verify whether N sources affect the antioxidant system during oxidative stress caused by hypoxia and post-hypoxia conditions. Antioxidant enzymatic activities, ascorbate redox state, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were analyzed in roots and leaves of two soybean genotypes, Fundacep 53 RR and BRS Macota at reproductive stage R2, during hypoxia and post-hypoxia in an experiment carried out in a hydroponic system. The antioxidant system was strongly induced in roots of nitrate-supplied plants of both genotypes, with high activity of superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase and guayacol peroxidase. It also increased reduced ascorbate and ascorbate redox state and decreased ROS production under hypoxia and recovery, while in leaves of nodulated and non-nodulated plants, a slight increase on antioxidant system was observed. Nitrate may benefit soybean plants under hypoxic conditions and subsequent re-oxygenation by inducing the antioxidant system mainly in roots to cope with ROS production and reduce oxidative damage.