ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.187, no.12, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a good source of minerals and vitamins and this feature makes its value comparable with tomato which is economically the most important vegetable worldwide. Due to its common usage as food and in medicines, eggplant cultivation has a growing reputation worldwide. But genetic yield potential of an eggplant variety is not always attained, and it is limited by some factors such as heavy metal contaminated soils in today's world. Today, one of the main objectives of plant stress biology and agricultural biotechnology areas is to find the genes involved in antioxidant stress response and engineering the key genes to improve the plant resistance mechanisms. In this regard, the current study was conducted to gain an idea on the roles of catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) genes in defense mechanism of eggplant (S. melongena L., Pala-49 (Turkish cultivar)) treated with different concentrations of Cu+2 and Zn+2. For this aim, the steady-state messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of CAT and APX genes were determined by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) in stressed eggplants. The results of the current study showed that different concentrations of Cu+2 and Zn+2 stresses altered the mRNA levels of CAT and APX genes in eggplants compared to the untreated control samples. When the mRNA levels of both genes were compared, it was observed that CAT gene was more active than APX gene in eggplant samples subjected to Cu+2 contamination. The current study highlights the importance of CAT and APX genes in response to Cu+2 and Zn+2 heavy metal stresses in eggplant and gives an important knowledge about this complex interaction.