Lookup NU author(s): Dr Pavlina Drogoudi,
Dr Thomas Lyons,
Professor Jerry Barnes
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Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Xanthi) plants expressing cucumber ascorbate oxidase (EC.126.96.36.199) were used to examine the role of extracellular ascorbic acid in mediating tolerance to the ubiquitous air pollutant, ozone (O3). Three homozygous transgenic lines, chosen on the basis of a preliminary screen of AO activity in the leaves of 29 lines, revealed up to a 380-fold increase in AO activity, with expression predominantly associated with leaf cell walls. Overexpression of AO resulted in no change in the total ascorbate content recovered in apoplast washing fluid, but the redox state of ascorbate was reduced from 30% in wild-type leaves to below the threshold for detection in transgenic plants. Levels of ascorbic acid and glutathione in the symplast were not affected by AO overexpression, but the redox state of ascorbate was reduced, while that of glutathione was increased. AO overexpressing plants exposed to 100 nmol mol-1 ozone for 7 h day-1 exhibited a substantial increase in foliar injury, and a greater pollutant-induced reduction in both the light-saturated rate of CO2 assimilation and the maximum in vivo rate of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase carboxylation, compared with wild-type plants. Transgenic plants also exhibited a greater decline in CO2 assimilation rate when exposed to a brief ozone episode (300 nmol mol-1 for 8 h). Stomatal conductance, hence O3 uptake, was unaffected by AO over-expression. Our findings illustrate the important role played by ascorbate redox state and sub-cellular compartmentation in mediating the tolerance of plants to ozone-induced oxidative stress.
Author(s): Sanmartin M, Drogoudi PD, Lyons T, Pateraki I, Barnes J, Kanellis AK
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
ISSN (print): 0032-0935
ISSN (electronic): 1432-2048
PubMed id: 12687359
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