Alleviation of drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana by 17β-estradiol application




Upadhyay, Pallavi
Maier, Camelia

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Scientific Research Publishing


Animal steroidal hormones, including estrogens, are being introduced into the agricultural soil and water supply from increased pharmaceutical and farm waste. Considering the current levels of xenoestrogen contamination of plant environments in view of the climate change induced drought conditions, this study was designed to understand the effect of estradiol (ES) application on Arabidopsis drought stress responses. Estradiol treatment (10 nM, 100 nM) of plants subjected to drought stress conditions by withholding water for 7 days resulted in increased tolerance to drought stress reflected in the significantly higher plant survival rates of 74% and 78%, respectively compared to control plants’ survival rates of 36% (no treatment) and 40% (mock treatment). Estradiol application significantly increased the content of glutathione, proline and H2O2 and significantly enhanced the transcription of the stress responsive genes GSTU3, GER5, HSP101, and HSP70b. A high concentration of ES (10 μM) did not protect plants against drought stress and proved to be toxic. These results provide new insight into the effect of ES on drought-stress responses in Arabidopsis with possible practical agricultural applications regarding the effect of environmental estrogens on crop plants. *This article was published with the assistance of the Texas Woman's University Libraries Open Access Fund. The original article can be found at:



Arabidopsis, Drought stress, Glutathione, H2O2, Proline, Stress genes, Xenoestrogens


This is the publisher’s version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Upadhyay, P., & Maier, C. (2016). Alleviation of drought stress in arabidopsis thaliana by 17β-estradiol application. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 07(14), 2072–2086. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.