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Can grafting in tomato plants strengthen resistance to thermal stress?

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Grafted and non‐grafted tomato plants were grown at 25 and 35 °C for 30 days. In tomato leaves we analysed total phenols, o‐diphenols, enzymatic activities (PAL, PPO and GPX) and dry weight. Our results indicate that heat stress in both grafted and non‐grafted tomato plants occurred at 35 °C and resulted in (1) increased PAL activity, (2) increased total phenols and o‐diphenols, (3) decreased PPO and GPX activities and (4) decreased dry weight. These results show that high temperature induces the accumulation of phenolics in tomato plants by activating their biosynthesis as well as inhibiting their oxidation. However, the impact of high‐temperature stress was smaller in grafted than in non‐grafted tomato plants. This indicates that grafted plants have a higher degree of resistance against thermal stress if the rootstock is more resistant to thermal stress. Copyright © 2003 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: grafted tomato plants; phenolic metabolism; thermal stress

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Granada, E-18071 Granada, Spain

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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