Changes in content of steroid regulators during cold hardening of winter wheat - steroid physiological/biochemical activity and impact on frost resistance

Janeczko A., Pociecha E., Dziurka M., Jurczyk B., Libik-Konieczny M., Oklestkova J., Novák O., Pilarska M., Filek M., Rudolphi-Skórska E., Sadura I., Siwek A.

Keywords: ABA, Brassinosteroids, Cold hardening, Frost, Progesterone, Rubisco, Sugars
Abstract: The purpose of experiments was to describe the alterations of content of steroid regulators (brassinosteroids, progesterone) during cold hardening of winter wheat. Further we studied physiological and biochemical changes induced by these steroids in cold hardened winter wheat together with estimation of plant frost tolerance. The endogenous brassinosteroid content was elevated in winter wheat during cold hardening while level of progesterone was lowered. A higher content of brassinosteroids (but not progesterone) was connected to better frost tolerance of winter wheat cultivars. Plant supplementation with brassinosteroid (24-epibrassinolide) and progesterone before cold hardening reduced frost damage. Tests with the inhibitors of the biosynthesis of brassinosteroids and progesterone suggested that these steroids are one of players in regulating the antioxidant system in winter wheat during cold hardening. Their role in regulating the expression of Rubisco or the Rubisco activase gene was less clear. Steroid regulators did not affect the content of the stress hormone ABA. Model studies of the membranes, made on a Langmuir bath, showed an increase in the value of the parameter describing differences in membrane compressibility (resulting from stronger interactions among the molecules in the monolayers). This suggests that 24-epibrassinolide and progesterone enter into the lipid layer and - in a similar way to sterols – stabilise the interaction among lipids. It may be significant step for better frost tolerance. The use of steroid regulators (especially brassinosteroids) as agrochemicals improving frost tolerance of winter cereals will be discussed.
DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2019.03.020 IEB authors: Ondřej Novák, Jana Oklešťková