Background: As a biennial plant, Secale cereale L is usually harvested in the autumn in the northern part of China where the temperature difference between day and night is of great disparity Through the pot experiment, the seedlings were cut to 2, 6 and 10 cm stubble height, and the simulated freeze-thaw (FT) stress (10/-5℃) was carried out after 6 days regrowth. The physiological effects of FT with different stubble height were revealed by analyzing the relative water content (RWC), osmotic adjustment substance concentration (soluble sugar and protein), membrane peroxidation (MDA) and catalase (CAT) activity.
Results: The results demonstrated that under freeze stress (-5℃), the content of soluble protein and MDA decreased and the seedlings of 2 cm treatment kept higher level of soluble protein and MDA, while the seedlings of 6 and 10 cm treatments kept higher level of the RWC, soluble sugar content, and CAT activity. After FT stress, the content of soluble sugar and protein, RWC in the 6 cm treatment were higher than those in 2 cm and 10 cm treatments, and the CAT activity in 10 cm treatment was the highest while the MDA content is lower.
Conclusion: These data suggest that keeping high stubble height is more adaptive for short-term FT stress.