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Lyka Antonette Serrano

Leslie Ann Tam

The Screening of the Analytical Biochemistry Researches Involved In Plant Response to

Stress Conditions

By: Monica Butnariu1 and Mihaela Corneanu

With the growing global population, it is important to remove the causes that lead to
lower yield of vegetables. One of the main causes of low quality vegetables is the abiotic stress
factors. Analytical biochemistry researchers focus on the study of biochemical processes that are
involved in the plant reaction to stress conditions in order to develop methods and highly
efficient selection criteria to identify genetic differences. This study may lead to the development
of vegetables more resistant to abiotic stress factors. In order for this development to be pursued,
the analytical biochemical researches must obtain conclusive information about fundamental
processes of plant life by studying the physiological and biochemical processes involved the
plant responds to stress; by studying the growth and development of plants, mineral nutrition and
productivity; by studying plant quality; by using mathematical models in agriculture; and by
estimating by teledetection of the applied agrotechnical measures efficiency.

Resistance at Low Temperature

During winter in relation to the genetic constitution of the plant, temperature and duration
of sunlight during quenching are decisive in this regard, and maintaining the degree of resistance
is determined by the evolution of temperatures. Young leaves compared to the mature leaves,
have higher resistance capacity; and the sensitivity of the root system is higher than the strain.
Using histo-cyto-biochemical methods, it was observed that the sensitivity of the growth peak is
higher than the fundamental embryotic tissue. This indicates that there is an increase potential for
the recovery of the plant in this area. The resistance mechanism to frost was explained through a
series of biochemical researches on the dynamics of the hydrosoluble substances, amino acid
(proline), phytohormones (abscisic acid (ABA)) cellular enzymatic processes (concentration
of sugars, ascorbic acid, catalase activity, the peroxidase, etc.).

It is revealed that the decrease in metabolism during winter corresponds to a deep state of
sleep in leaves. The role and the importance of the accumulation of the specific metabolites
(proline) and the phytohormones, and the direct relationship with the degree of frost
resistance was established. The abscisic acid has a mediator role in initiating the metabolic
process that increases the cold resistance of plants. In the study of the correlations between the
osmotic potential and the proline constant, and the dry substances accumulated during the
quenching process has shown a negative relationship. The decrease of the osmotic potential is
beneficial for the increase of the plants resistance to frost.

The formation of oxygen free radicals (ROS) is another cause of injury on plants.
Specific enzymes on plants such as enzymes (catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD),
peroxidase (POX), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione S-transferase (GST)) annihilate
the negative effect of ROS. Plants that are resistant to oxidative stress generated by ROS are
resistant to frost, drought and salinity. The extracellular freezing was caused by the decrease in
temperature below 0C. This results to cellular dehydration, which causes the plant cells to lose
most part of active water in osmosis.

The cell membrane of the plant is recognized as the primary site of injury caused by frost.
The thermic flunctuations disrupts the growth and development of the plants. Methods for
measuring the damage has been improved, which helps in identifying the plants that has high cell
membrane stability at low temperatures.

Resistance to Heat (Heat Stress) and Drought (Hydric Stress)

Drought effects lead to a significant decrease of production by influencing the growth

processes, photosynthesis, differentiation and formation of generative organs. Drought resistant
plants have a low rate of dehydration of leaves with a high percentage of chlorophyll, ascorbic
acid, total reducing sugars, dry substance, bound water, reduced deterioration of photosynthethic
apparatus and tolacoidal membranes, and low cuticular transpiration. When the soil is low in
water reserves, these features in drought resistant plants allow the trigger of adaptation
mechanism and avoid dehydration of tissues and allow a significant decrease in photosynthetic

When plants are under the influence of frost stress and drought conditions, they may
undergo oxidative stress by the oxidative degradation of products at cellular level. Studies show
that drought resistant plants initiate the protection of enzymatic systems against oxidative stress
at cellular level. The relationship of proline accumulation with drought resistance was based on
the production in stress condition. However, determining the relationship was difficult because of
factors like the large number of biochemical, physiological and differentiation stages. Basically,
proline can have a short term advantage at cellular level, but is not a unique criterion for
selection and practically usable.

The complex phenomenon of drought resistance requires multiple investigations. Heat

tolerance of plants may be quantified by association with the cellular components, in which it is
closely related to the cell membranes. High temperatures and osmotic stress can cause major
damages to the cell membrane, wherein the ions efflux from the cells and the tissues die. The
heat damaged cell membranes can be investigated by conductometric measurements of
electrolyte leakage from cells. Abscisic acid (ABA) and glutathione reductase (GR) are two
compounds with implications of plant resistance to drought, in which the effects of hydric stress
in manifested as excess humidity from soil to plant and emphasized on the disadvantage of some
factors that overlap to the humidity excess.

Resistance to Salinity, Acidity, Loss and Illness

Salinity inhibits protein synthesis inhibition by increasing the concentration of free

proteins especially proline. Analytical biochemistry researches were conducted to identify
aspects of the plant biochemistry such as hydric and aluminum stress. The hydric stress reduces
the accumulation of biomass.

High content of aluminum lowers the weight and volume of roots in the higher root
system than the aerial root system. The increase of aluminum content with the increase of the
action time causes the reduction of the growth rate of the root system. By comparing the biomass
accumulation reduction on both higher root system and the aerial root system, it was observed
that the first reaction of soil acidity is the inhibition of the growth roots. This leads to apparent
changes of photosynthesis, and also the increase of peroxide enzyme activity since plants have
internal detoxification. The reduction of leaf area and the chlorophyll content was caused by the
plant age and nutrition disturbances (e.g. phosphorus deficiency and use of phosphorus in the
presence of aluminum).