Pasqualini, Stefania and Batini, Paola and Ederli, Luisa and Porceddu, Andrea and Piccioni, Carlo and De Marchis, Francesca and Antonielli, Marisa (2001) Effects of short-term ozone fumigation on tobacco plants: response of the scavenging system and expression of the glutathione reductase. Plant, Cell & Environment, Vol. 24 (2), p. 254-252. eISSN 1365-3040. Article.
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The role that the constituents of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle play in the mechanism of contrasting ozone sensitivities was examined in mature and old tobacco leaves after acute ozone-fumigation (150 p.p.b., 5 h). Levels of the enzyme activities associated with the detoxifying system were lower in ozone-sensitive Bel W3 control plants than in unfumigated ozone-tolerant Bel B plants. In particular, the endogenous activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR), and the metabolites ascorbic acid (AA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were more abundant in Bel B than Bel W3 control plants. These results suggest that the higher tolerance of Bel B to O3 is associated with a greater initial content of the antioxidant enzymes or metabolites. Only in the mature leaves of the ozone-tolerant Bel B cv. did fumigation trigger activation of APX and, weakly, of dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR). The activity of these enzymes was significantly lower after ozone treatment in both mature and old leaves of Bel W3 than in control plants. Fumigation had little effect on the ascorbate content. Its main effects on the glutathione pool were that it boosted the oxidized form and lowered the reduced form, particularly in mature Bel W3 leaves. Extractable GR activity remained unchanged in both Bel B and Bel W3 immediately after fumigation, but increased slightly 24 h later, particularly in mature leaves of Bel W3. Exposure to O3 caused a sharp decline in chloroplastic GR mRNA levels in both cultivars. However, as Western blot analysis failed to detect any major changes in GR protein content at this time, the protein must be highly stable. There is therefore a good correlation between tolerance to O3 and high endogenous levels of antioxidant metabolites such as AA and GSH in tobacco. In addition, the degree of inducibility of the system discriminates the two cultivars investigated.
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