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J Exp Bot. 2011 May;62(8):2667-78. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erq435. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Growth at elevated ozone or elevated carbon dioxide concentration alters antioxidant capacity and response to acute oxidative stress in soybean (Glycine max).

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  • 1Physiological and Molecular Plant Biology Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1201 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Soybeans (Glycine max Merr.) were grown at elevated carbon dioxide concentration ([CO(2)]) or chronic elevated ozone concentration ([O(3)]; 90 ppb), and then exposed to an acute O(3) stress (200 ppb for 4 h) in order to test the hypothesis that the atmospheric environment alters the total antioxidant capacity of plants, and their capacity to respond to an acute oxidative stress. Total antioxidant metabolism, antioxidant enzyme activity, and antioxidant transcript abundance were characterized before, immediately after, and during recovery from the acute O(3) treatment. Growth at chronic elevated [O(3)] increased the total antioxidant capacity of plants, while growth at elevated [CO(2)] decreased the total antioxidant capacity. Changes in total antioxidant capacity were matched by changes in ascorbate content, but not phenolic content. The growth environment significantly altered the pattern of antioxidant transcript and enzyme response to the acute O(3) stress. Following the acute oxidative stress, there was an immediate transcriptional reprogramming that allowed for maintained or increased antioxidant enzyme activities in plants grown at elevated [O(3)]. Growth at elevated [CO(2)] appeared to increase the response of antioxidant enzymes to acute oxidative stress, but dampened and delayed the transcriptional response. These results provide evidence that the growth environment alters the antioxidant system, the immediate response to an acute oxidative stress, and the timing over which plants return to initial antioxidant levels. The results also indicate that future elevated [CO(2)] and [O(3)] will differentially affect the antioxidant system.

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