Plant steroids have been implicated to relieve
changes induced by heavy metals in plants.
Maize (Zea mays L.) seeds were primed with
stigmasterol (100 ppm) then grown under
different levels of copper in the soil (0, 100,
150, or 200 mg kg-1 soi l ) for 40 days.
Stigmasterol pretreatment improved the
growth of Zea mays plants compared wi th
untreated plants under di fferent copper levels.
Moreover , stigmasterol pretreatment
enhanced membrane stability index, protein
and proline content, as well as the activi ties
of nitrate reductase, carbonic anhydrase,
peroxidase and catalase. Additionally, grain
priming with stigmasterol enhanced the
content of photosynthetic pigments in maize
plants. Therefore, our results revealed that
seed priming with stigmasterol could enhance
the tolerance of Zea mays plants grown under
high levels of copper .