Impact of high nighttime temperature on respiration, membrane stability, antioxidant capacity, and yield of rice plants

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Nighttime temperature is one of the major environmental factors influencing plant metabolic processes. The respiration rates, membrane thermal stability (MTS), and total antioxidant capacities of leaves were investigated in rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants when exposed to high nighttime temperature (HNT) (32°C) or ambient nighttime temperature (ANT) (27°C), and with or without potential preventive exogenous effector (chemical) treatments. The exogenous effector treatments included -tocopherol (vitamin E), glycine betaine, and salicylic acid, which play important but different roles in inducing thermal tolerance in many plant species. Plants were subjected to an HNT through use of continuously controlled infrared heaters, starting from 2000 h until 0600 h. High nighttime temperature increased respiration rates, decreased MTS, and negatively affected the yield (by 95%). Application of salicylic acid somewhat lowered the reduction in yield due to HNT (76 vs. 95%) by decreasing the respiration rates and increasing MTS and total antioxidant capacity of rice plants.

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