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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recently found to be a gaseous signaling molecule in plants. In this work, we studied the role of H2S in alleviating salinity stress during wheat grain germination (Triticum aestivum L. Yangmai 158). Pretreatment with NaHS, a H2S donor, during wheat grain imbibition, could significantly attenuate the inhibitory effect of salinity stress on wheat germination. NaHS-pretreated grain showed higher amylase and esterase activities than water control. NaHS pretreatment differentially stimulated the activities of catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), decreased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced NaCl-induced changes in plasma membrane integrity in the radicle tips of seedlings compared with water control. We conclude that H2S plays an important role in protecting wheat grain from oxidative damage induced by salinity stress.

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