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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57472. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057472. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Gene knockout study reveals that cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 2(OsAPX2) plays a critical role in growth and reproduction in rice under drought, salt and cold stresses.

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  • 1Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/National Key facility for Gene Resources And Genetic Improvement, Beijing, China.


Plant ascorbate peroxidases (APXs), enzymes catalyzing the dismutation of H2O2 into H2O and O2, play an important role in reactive oxygen species homeostasis in plants. The rice genome has eight OsAPXs, but their physiological functions remain to be determined. In this report, we studied the function of OsAPX2 gene using a T-DNA knockout mutant under the treatment of drought, salt and cold stresses. The Osapx2 knockout mutant was isolated by a genetic screening of a rice T-DNA insertion library under 20% PEG-2000 treatment. Loss of function in OsAPX2 affected the growth and development of rice seedlings, resulting in semi-dwarf seedlings, yellow-green leaves, leaf lesion mimic and seed sterility. OsAPX2 expression was developmental- and spatial-regulated, and was induced by drought, salt, and cold stresses. Osapx2 mutants had lower APX activity and were sensitive to abiotic stresses; overexpression of OsAPX2 increased APX activity and enhanced stress tolerance. H2O2 and MDA levels were high in Osapx2 mutants but low in OsAPX2-OX transgenic lines relative to wild-type plants after stress treatments. Taken together, the cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase OsAPX2 plays an important role in rice growth and development by protecting the seedlings from abiotic stresses through scavenging reactive oxygen species.

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