Growth, Photosynthesis And Antioxidant Defense Systém In Zn-deficient Red Cabbage Plants
The effect of Zn deficiency was studied in red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata f. rubra) plants grown in nutrient solution under controlled environmental conditions. Zinc starvation affected the number (61%), surface area (72%) and biomass (62%) of leaves more than root biomass (42%). Although chlorophyll fluorescence parameters revealed occurrence of photoinhibition following declined stomatal conductance and reduction of CO2 available at carboxylation sites, photosynthesis apparatus was not damaged seriously under Zn deficiency conditions. Chlorophyll a, chlorophyll a/b ratio, soluble carbohydrates and starch declined but anthocyanins and free phenolics were accumulated under Zn deficiency conditions. Activity of ascorbate peroxidase, catalase and peroxidase enhanced under Zn deficiency conditions, whereas activity of superoxide dismutase declined in leaves but not in roots of Zn-deficient plants. Maintenance of superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde content in roots demonstrated that roots were more protected against reactive oxygen species imbalance under Zn deficiency conditions compared with leaves that was correlated well with the lower sensitivity of roots to low Zn supply.