Original scientific paper

Effects of drought and rehydration on the growth and physiological characteristics of mustard seedlings

2021, 22 (4)   p. 836-847

Pei JIA, Andrii MELNYK, Zhi ZHANG, Li LI, Xiang KONG, Hai DAI, Sergey BUTENKO


The mustard variety Felicia was used to analyze the response and compensation effects of growth and physiology under drought stress and rehydration conditions at the seedling stage. The seedlings were exposed to different levels of drought stress simulated by polyethylene glycol (PEG). The growth parameters, fresh weight, chlorophyll fluorescence, and antioxidant system were measured. The results showed that drought stress inhibited the growth of roots and shoots and reduced the performance of photosystem II (PS II). After rehydration, the root length and fresh weight of plants rapidly increased, and the performance index (PIABS) was found to be higher compared with the control, which suggested a compensative effect. The chlorophyll content was significantly reduced under moderate and severe drought stress. However, it increased under mild stress conditions. After rehydration, the chlorophyll content under moderate and severe stress did not return to the levels of control, and there was no significant difference between mild stress and the control. Under drought stress, the activities of antioxidant enzymes and content of malondialdehyde (MDA) increased significantly in the leaves. After rehydration, MDA and the activities of antioxidant enzyme were higher than those of the control group, particularly under moderate and severe stress. Therefore, these results suggest that mustard is strongly adapted to mild drought stress through the efficient activities of antioxidant enzymes activity and photosynthesis, as well as its rapid recovery after rehydration.


mustard, drought stress, rehydration, chlorophyll fluorescence, antioxidant enzyme activity

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