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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Exogenous calcium alleviates nocturnal chilling-induced feedback inhibition of photosynthesis by improving sink demand in peanut (Arachis hypogaea)

Wu, Di; Liu, Yifei; Pang, Jiayin; Yong, Jean Wan Hong; Chen, Yinglong; Bai, Chunming; Han, Xiaori; Liu, Xinyue; Sun, Zhiyu; Zhang, Siwei; Sheng, Jing; Li, Tianlai; Siddique, Kadambot H. M.; Lambers, Hans


Arachis hypogaea (peanut) is a globally important oilseed crop with high nutritional value. However, upon exposure to overnight chilling stress, it shows poor growth and seedling necrosis in many cultivation areas worldwide. Calcium (Ca2+) enhances chilling resistance in various plant species. We undertook a pot experiment to investigate the effects of exogenous Ca2+ and a calmodulin (CaM) inhibitor on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of peanut exposed to low night temperature (LNT) stress following warm sunny days. The LNT stress reduced growth, leaf extension, biomass accumulation, gas exchange rates, and photosynthetic electron transport rates. Following LNT stress, we observed larger starch grains and a concomitant increase in nonstructural carbohydrates and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentrations. The LNT stress further induced photoinhibition and caused structural damage to the chloroplast grana. Exogenous Ca2+ enhanced plant growth following LNT stress, possibly by allowing continued export of carbohydrates from leaves. Foliar Ca2+ likely alleviated the nocturnal chilling-dependent feedback limitation on photosynthesis in the daytime by increasing sink demand. The foliar Ca2+ pretreatment protected the photosystems from photoinhibition by facilitating cyclic electron flow (CEF) and decreasing the proton gradient (ΔpH) across thylakoid membranes during LNT stress. Foliar application of a CaM inhibitor increased the negative impact of LNT stress on photosynthetic processes, confirming that Ca2+–CaM played an important role in alleviating photosynthetic inhibition due to the overnight chilling-dependent feedback.


low night temperature; growth; calcium; photosynthesis; peanut

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2020, volume: 11, article number: 607029

Authors' information

Wu, Di
Shenyang Agricultural University
Liu, Yifei
University of Western Australia
Pang, Jiayin
University of Western Australia
University of Western Australia
Chen, Yinglong
University of Western Australia
Bai, Chunming
University of Western Australia
Han, Xiaori
Shenyang Agricultural University
Liu, Xinyue
Shenyang Agricultural University
Sun, Zhiyu
Shenyang Agricultural University
Zhang, Siwei
Shenyang Agricultural University
Sheng, Jing
Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Li, Tianlai
Shenyang Agricultural University
Siddique, Kadambot H. M.
University of Western Australia
Lambers, Hans
China Agricultural University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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