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Plant Physiol. 1998 Dec;118(4):1327-35.

Role of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle of mitochondria and peroxisomes in the senescence of pea leaves

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  • 1Departamento de Nutricion y Fisiologia Vegetal, Centro de Edafologia y Biologia Aplicada del Segura, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Apartado 195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain (A. J., J.A.H., F.S.).


We investigated the relationship between H2O2 metabolism and the senescence process using soluble fractions, mitochondria, and peroxisomes from senescent pea (Pisum sativum L.) leaves. After 11 d of senescence the activities of Mn-superoxide dismutase, dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), and glutathione reductase (GR) present in the matrix, and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) activities localized in the mitochondrial membrane, were all substantially decreased in mitochondria. The mitochondrial ascorbate and dehydroascorbate pools were reduced, whereas the oxidized glutathione levels were maintained. In senescent leaves the H2O2 content in isolated mitochondria and the NADH- and succinate-dependent production of superoxide (O2.-) radicals by submitochondrial particles increased significantly. However, in peroxisomes from senescent leaves both membrane-bound APX and MDHAR activities were reduced. In the matrix the DHAR activity was enhanced and the GR activity remained unchanged. As a result of senescence, the reduced and the oxidized glutathione pools were considerably increased in peroxisomes. A large increase in the glutathione pool and DHAR activity were also found in soluble fractions of senescent pea leaves, together with a decrease in GR, APX, and MDHAR activities. The differential response to senescence of the mitochondrial and peroxisomal ascorbate-glutathione cycle suggests that mitochondria could be affected by oxidative damage earlier than peroxisomes, which may participate in the cellular oxidative mechanism of leaf senescence longer than mitochondria.

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