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Planta. 2009 Aug;230(3):553-67. doi: 10.1007/s00425-009-0968-5. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

On the mechanism of apoplastic H2O2 production during lignin formation and elicitation in cultured spruce cells--peroxidases after elicitation.

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  • 1Department of Applied Biology, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, Latokartanonkaari 7, 00014, Helsinki, Finland.


A cell culture of Picea abies (L.) Karst. was used for studies of H(2)O(2) generation during constitutive extracellular lignin formation and after elicitation by cell wall fragments of a pathogenic fungus, Heterobasidium parviporum. Stable, micromolar levels of H(2)O(2) were present in the culture medium during lignin formation. Elicitation induced a burst of H(2)O(2), peaking at ca. 90 min after elicitation. Of exogenous reducing substrates that may be responsible for the synthesis of H(2)O(2) from O(2), NADH stimulated H(2)O(2) production irrespective of elicitation. Cysteine (Cys) and glutathione (GSH) partially scavenged the constitutive H(2)O(2), but usually increased or prolonged elicitor-induced H(2)O(2) formation. Culture medium peroxidases were not able to generate H(2)O(2) in vitro with Cys or GSH as reductants. These thiols, however, generated H(2)O(2) non-enzymically at pH 4.5. [(35)S]Sulphate feeding to spruce cells showed that endogenous sulphur-containing compounds (including GSH, GSSG and cysteic acid) existed in the culture medium. The apoplastic levels of these were, however, undetectable by the monobromobimane method suggesting that their contribution to apoplastic H(2)O(2) formation is probably minor. Azide, an inhibitor of haem-containing enzymes, slightly inhibited constitutive H(2)O(2) generation but strongly delayed the elicitor-induced H(2)O(2) accumulation. Diphenylene iodonium, an inhibitor of flavin-containing enzymes, efficiently inhibited H(2)O(2) production irrespective of elicitation. Elicitation led to downregulation of the expression of several peroxidase genes, and peroxidase activity in the culture medium was slightly reduced. Expression of three other peroxidase genes and a respiratory burst oxidase homologue (rboh) gene were upregulated. These data suggest that both peroxidases and rboh may contribute to H(2)O(2) generation.

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