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Plant Physiol. 2007 Aug;144(4):1777-85. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

Double mutants deficient in cytosolic and thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase reveal a complex mode of interaction between reactive oxygen species, plant development, and response to abiotic stresses.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557, USA.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a key signaling role in plants and are controlled in cells by a complex network of ROS metabolizing enzymes found in several different cellular compartments. To study how different ROS signals, generated in different cellular compartments, are integrated in cells, we generated a double mutant lacking thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase (tylapx) and cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase1 (apx1). Our analysis suggests that two different signals are generated in plants lacking cytosolic APX1 or tylAPX. The lack of a chloroplastic hydrogen peroxide removal enzyme triggers a specific signal in cells that results in enhanced tolerance to heat stress, whereas the lack of a cytosolic hydrogen peroxide removal enzyme triggers a different signal, which results in stunted growth and enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress. When the two signals are coactivated in cells (i.e. tylapx/apx1), a new response is detected, suggesting that the integration of the two different signals results in a new signal that manifests in late flowering, low protein oxidation during light stress, and enhanced accumulation of anthocyanins. Our results demonstrate a high degree of plasticity in ROS signaling in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and suggest the existence of redundant pathways for ROS protection that compensate for the lack of classical ROS removal enzymes such as cytosolic and chloroplastic APXs. Further investigation of the enhanced heat tolerance in plants lacking tylAPX, using mutants deficient in chloroplast-to-nuclei retrograde signaling, suggests the existence of a chloroplast-generated stress signal that enhances basal thermotolerance in plants.

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