Drought is the most limiting environmental factor to crop productivity and presents a great variability in the degree of tolerance among and within species, among varieties. The aim of this study was to characterize sugarcane accessions regarding tolerance to water stress during in vitro cultivation based on changes in biometric, physiological and biochemical characteristics, within species and among species, to support future breeding programs. Adventitious shoots of five sugarcane accessions: Saccharum robustum, Saccharum spontaneum and Saccharum officinarum species, cultivated in Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 2% sucrose and 4 g/l Phytagel were used in five water potentials, 0, -0.3, -0.6, -0.9, -1.2 MPa, induced by mannitol. Survival, length of shoots and roots, number of shoots and roots, biomass, proline content in leaves and activity of antioxidant enzymes were analyzed. There is difference among species, and also, within the same sugarcane species when submitted to in vitro drought stress, and S. officinarum was shown to be the most tolerant. Proline can be used as a biochemical indicator of response to drought in sugarcane accessions and its accumulation was intensified in S. robustum and S. spontaneum accessions. Catalase activity remained unchanged with increased drought in sugarcane accessions evaluated.
Oliveira, L. A. R. de, Cardoso, M. N., Oliveira, A. C. A. de, Machado, C. D. A., Cardoso, B. T., Silva, A. V. C. da, & Lédo, A. D. S. (2018). Effects of in vitro Drought Stress on Growth, Proline Accumulation and Antioxidant Defense in Sugarcane. Journal of Agricultural Science, 10(5), 135. https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v10n5p135