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J Exp Bot. 2006;57(9):1991-9. Epub 2006 May 11.

Early events in the perception of lipopolysaccharides in the brown alga Laminaria digitata include an oxidative burst and activation of fatty acid oxidation cascades.

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  • 1Station Biologique, UMR 7139 CNRS-UPMC and LIA DIAMS, BP 74, Roscoff, Brittany, France.


This study provides evidence that bacterial lipopolysaccharides can be strong triggers of early events of defence reactions in the brown algal kelp Laminaria digitata, constituting the first report of a biological activity of this class of macromolecules in a marine alga. The early events include an oxidative burst, release of free saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (FFAs) and accumulation of oxylipins such as 13-hydroxyoctadecatrienoic acid and 15-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid. The formation of reactive oxygen species can be inhibited by diphenylene iodonium, suggesting that the source is an NAD(P)H oxidase and is similar to the oxidative burst in neutrophils and terrestrial plants. In addition and besides triggering an oxidative burst, the hypolipidemic drug clofibrate also induces the release of FFAs, to a lesser extent than lipopolysaccharides, but it does not induce oxylipin production. Other strong inducers of the oxidative burst in Laminaria such as oligoguluronates could not induce the release of FFAs nor oxylipin production. These results suggest that different signalling pathways are involved in the induction of the oxidative burst and oxylipin production.

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