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Plant Physiol. 1990 Dec;94(4):1808-12.

Regulation of Assimilatory Sulfate Reduction by Herbicide Safeners in Zea mays L.

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  • 1Pflanzenphysiologisches Institut der Universit├Ąt Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Effects of the herbicide safeners N,N-diallyl-2,2-dichloroacetamide and 4-dichloroacetyl-3,4-dihydro-3-methyl-2H-1,4-benzooxazin (CGA 154281) on the contents in cysteine and glutathione, on the assimilation of (35)SO(4) (2-), and on the enzymes of assimilatory sulfate reduction were analyzed in roots and primary leaves of maize (Zea mays) seedlings. Both safeners induced an increase in cysteine and glutathione. In labeling experiments using (35)SO(4) (2-), roots of plants cultivated in the presence of safeners contained an increased level of radioactivity in glutathione and cysteine as compared with controls. A significant increase in uptake of sulfate was only detected in the presence of CGA 154281. One millimolar N,N-diallyl-2,2-dichloroacetamide applied to the roots for 6 days increased the activity of adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase about 20- and threefold in the roots and leaves, respectively, compared with controls. CGA 154281 at 10 micromolar caused a sevenfold increase of this enzyme activity in the roots, but did not affect it significantly in the leaves. A significant increase in ATP-sulfurylase (EC activity was only detected in the roots cultivated in the presence of 10 micromolar CGA 154281. Both safeners had no effect on the activity of sulfite reductase (EC and O-acetyl-l-serine sulfhydrylase (EC The herbicide metolachlor alone or combined with the safeners induced levels of adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase, which were higher than those of the appropriate controls. Taken together these results show that the herbicide safeners increased both the level of adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase activity and of the thiols cysteine and glutathione. This indicates that these safeners may be involved in eliminating the previously proposed regulatory mechanism, in which increased concentrations of thiols regulate assimilatory sulfate reduction by decreasing the activities of the enzymes involved.

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