J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2014, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (8): 797-809.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12199

• Plant-environmental Interactions • Previous Articles    

Early osmotic adjustment responses in drought-resistant and drought-sensitive oilseed rape

Sarah Hatzig1, L. Irina Zaharia2, Suzanne Abrams3, Marie Hohmann1, Laurie Legoahec4, Alain Bouchereau4, Nathalie Nesi4 and Rod J. Snowdon1*   

  1. 1Department of Plant Breeding, IFZ Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany
    2National Research Council of Canada, Aquatic and Crop Resource Development, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    3Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    4UMR 1349 INRA-AgroCampus Ouest-Université de Rennes 1, Joint Laboratory for Genetics, Environment and Plant Protection (IGEPP), Le Rheu Cedex, France


The impact of osmotic stress on growth, physiology, and metabolism of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) was investigated by detailed analysis of biomass traits, hormone metabolites and osmolytes in two genetically unrelated drought-tolerant genotypes and two unrelated drought-sensitive genotypes. Seedlings were grown in vitro under controlled conditions and osmotic stress was simulated by applying a gradual treatment with polyethylene glycol (PEG 6000), followed by hypo-osmotic treatment of variants used for metabolite determination. The results provide a basis for the identification of reliable selection criteria for drought resistance in oilseed rape. The in vitro cultivation system established during this study enabled effective discrimination of early osmotic stress responses between drought-resistant and -susceptible oilseed rape genotypes that also show large differences in relative seed yield under drought conditions in the field. Clear physiological and metabolic differences were observed between the drought-resistant and drought-sensitive genotypes, suggesting that osmotic adjustment is a key component of drought response in oilseed rape. Unexpectedly, however, the drought-resistant genotypes did not show typical hormonal adjustment and osmolyte accumulation, suggesting that they possess alternative physiological mechanisms enabling avoidance of stress symptoms.


Hatzig S, Zaharia LI, Abrams S, Hohmann M, Legoahec L, Bouchereau A, Nesi N, Snowdon RJ (2014) Early osmotic adjustment responses in drought‐resistant and drought‐sensitive oilseed rape. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 797–809. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12199

Key words: Abscisic acid, Brassica napus, drought, hormones, metabolites

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