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Antioxidant content in two CAM bromeliad species as a response to seasonal light changes in a tropical dry deciduous forest
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Plants have evolved photoprotective mechanisms to limit photodamage; one of these mechanisms involves the biosynthesis of antioxidant metabolites to neutralize reactive oxygen species generated when plants are exposed to excess light. However, it is known that exposure of plants to conditions of extreme water stress and high light intensity results in their enhanced susceptibility to over-excitation of photosystem II and to photooxidative stress. In this investigation we used the 2,2-diphenyl-1picrylhydrazyl reduction assay to conduct a broad survey of the effect of water availability and light exposure conditions on the antioxidant activity of the leaf extracts of two bromeliad species showing crassulacean acid metabolism. One of these was an epiphyte, Tillandsia brachycaulos, and the other a terrestrial species, Bromelia karatas. Both species were found growing wild in the tropical dry deciduous forest of Dzibilchaltu ´ n National Park, Me ´ xico. The microenvironment of T. brachycaulos and B. karatas experiences significant diurnal and seasonal light variations as well as changes in temperature and water availability. The results obtained showed that, for both bromeliads, increases in antioxidant activity occurred during the dry season, as a consequence of water stress and higher light conditions. Additionally, in T. brachycaulos there was a clear correlation between high light intensity conditions and the content of anthocyanins which accumulated below the leaf epidermis. This result suggests that the role of these pigments is as photoprotective screens in the leaves. The red coloration below the leaf epidermis of B. karatas was not due to anthocyanins but to other unidentified pigments.
Appears in Collections:Artículos de Investigación Arbitrados

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