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Plant Physiol. 1985 Nov;79(3):862-6.

Effects of Acifluorfen on Endogenous Antioxidants and Protective Enzymes in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Cotyledons.

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United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, P. O. Box 225, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776.


The herbicide acifluorfen (2-chloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenoxy-2-nitrobenzoate) causes strong photooxidative destruction of pigments and lipids in sensitive plant species. Antioxidants and oxygen radical scavengers slow the bleaching action of the herbicide. The effect of acifluorfen on glutathione and ascorbate levels in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) cotyledon discs was investigated to assess the relationship between herbicide activity and endogenous antioxidants. Acifluorfen decreased the levels of glutathione and ascorbate over 50% in discs exposed to less than 1.5 hours of white light (450 microeinsteins per square meter per second). Coincident increases in dehydroascorbate and glutathione disulfide were not observed. Acifluorfen also caused the rapid depletion of ascorbate in far-red light grown plants which were photosynthetically incompetent.Glutathione reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, superoxide dismutase, ascorbate oxidase, ascorbate free radical reductase, peroxidase, and catalase activities rapidly decreased in acifluorfen-treated tissue exposed to white light. None of the enzymes were inhibited in vitro by the herbicide. Acifluorfen causes irreversible photooxidative destruction of plant tissue, in part, by depleting endogenous antioxidants and inhibiting the activities of protective enzymes.

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