Climatic changes can cause serious reductions in yield and crop quality. Under the threat of climatic changes, one of the precautions to cope is selection and development of resistant vegetable genotypes to abiotic stresses. Several physiological and biochemical reactions and different tolerance levels can occur according to plant species. When plants are subjected to environmental stresses such as salinity, drought, temperature extremes, herbicide treatment and mineral deficiency, the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the quenching activity of antioxidants is upset, often resulting in oxidative damage. Since activated oxygen species can disrupt normal metabolism through oxidative damage to lipids, protein and nucleic acids, plants possess a number of antioxidant enzymes that protect them from these cytotoxic effects. To control the level of ROS and to protect cells under stress conditions, plant tissues contain several enzymes for scavenging ROS. The high levels of antioxidative enzyme activities were determined in the tolerant genotypes of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash, beans, okra, etc. to several abiotic stress factors. Both the whole plant and in vitro callus culture experiments gave similar results. Antioxidant enzymes can be useful for screening to determine the tolerant and sensitive plant genotypes against abiotic stresses.
Part of the book: Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants