Diurnal gradual heat stress affects antioxidant enzymes, proline accumulation and some physiological components in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)
Even though high temperatures significantly reduce both vegetative growth and yield in cotton, very little is known about the effects of heat stress on cotton antioxidant system. Thus, the effects of gradual heat stress on cotton growth in controlled conditions were investigated in the present study. At squaring stage, cotton plants were subjected to two different temperatures, 38 and 45°C to determine the influence of heat stress on the plants. The results of the present study showed that heat stress did not significantly altered the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the leaves, whereas there was a remarkable decline in proline quantity of the leaves of plants subjected to 45°C heat stress. As for the amount of total chlorophyll content, a slight increase at plants treated with 38°C temperature was observed. Furthermore, the activities of some enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), which were associated with heat stress response in other plants was also investigated. For example, there was decline in the activitity of SOD in the plants exposed to high temperatures. On the contrary, catalase (CAT) activity increased at 45°C; peroxidase (POX) activity increased at 38°C and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity increased at 38 and 45°C. The results from this study suggest a potential role for CAT, POX and APX in the reduction of elevated levels of H2O2 in cotton plants grown under heat stress condition. To sum up, it could be concluded that, diurnal gradual heat stress caused a low oxidative injury in cotton.