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Plant Physiol. 1996 May;111(1):187-194.

Glycolytic Flux and Hexokinase Activities in Anoxic Maize Root Tips Acclimated by Hypoxic Pretreatment.

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  • 1Station de Physiologie Vegetale, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre de Recherches de Bordeaux, B.P. 81, 33883 Villenave d'Ornon Cedex, France.


Several enzyme activities were measured in extracts from acclimated and nonacclimated maize (Zea mays) root tips at pH 6.5 and 7.5, corresponding to cytoplasmic pH in anaerobiosis or aerobiosis, respectively, to determine what causes the decline of the glycolytic flux observed in anoxia in nonacclimated tips. We found that phosphorylation of hexoses by kinases was a major limiting step of glycolysis in anoxia. When fructose was substituted for glucose, glycolysis was slightly enhanced and survival improved, but neither matched that of acclimated tips. Decrease of kinase activities was not the result of proteolytic degradation but was more likely the result of inhibition by internal factors (low pH and low ATP). There was no evidence of induction during the hypoxic pretreatment of isoenzymes better adapted to the anoxic cellular environment. Maintenance of the glycolytic flux in acclimated tissues is explained by a combination of a rise in kinase activities and decreased inhibition resulting from a higher cytoplasmic pH and ATP content. The behavior of intact root tips is discussed in comparison with the behavior of excised root tips.

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