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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 May 2;1621(2):160-9.

Ozone impact on the photosynthetic apparatus and the protective role of polyamines.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Crete, PO Box 2208, 71409 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.


One of the primary plant mechanisms protecting leaf cells against enhanced atmospheric ozone is the accumulation of polyamines, generally observed as an increase in putrescine level, and in particular its bound form to thylakoid membranes. Ozone-sensitive plants of tobacco (cultivar Bel W3) in contrast to ozone-tolerant Bel B, are not able to increase their endogenous thylakoid membrane-bound putrescine when they are exposed to an atmosphere with enhanced ozone concentration, resulting in reduction of their photosynthetic rates and consequently reduction in plant biomass formation. In comparison to the tolerant cultivar Bel B, a prolongation of ozone exposure thus can lead to typical visible symptoms (necrotic spots) in leaves of the sensitive plant. Exogenously manipulated increase of the cellular putrescine levels of the ozone-sensitive Bel W3 is sufficient to revert these effects, whereas a reduction in endogenous putrescine levels of the tolerant cultivar Bel B renders them sensitive to ozone treatment. The results of this work reveal a regulator role for polyamines in adaptation of the photosynthetic apparatus and consequently to its protection in an environment polluted by ozone.

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