Antisense-mediated suppression of tomato thylakoidal ascorbate peroxidase influences anti-oxidant network during chilling stress

Ming Duan, Na-Na Ma, Dong Li, Yong-Sheng Deng, Fan-Ying Kong, Wei Lv, Qing-Wei Meng
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB 2012, 58: 37-45
Photosynthesis is a well-established source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plants particularly under chilling stress. Ascorbate peroxidase (APXs) plays an important role in the anti-oxidant system by utilizing AsA as specific electron donor to reduce H(2)O(2) to water. In order to investigate the possible mechanisms of ascorbate peroxidsae (APX) in photoprotection under chilling stress, a tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) thylakoidal ascorbate peroxidase gene (LetAPX) was isolated and antisense transgenic tomato plants were produced. Under chilling stress, transgenic plants accumulated more H(2)O(2), and showed higher levels of ion leakage and malondialdehyde (MDA), lower net photosynthetic rate (Pn), lower maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) and less content of D1 protein compared with wild type (WT) plants. On the other hand, after chilling stress, transgenic plants showed higher reduced ascorbate (AsA) and activities of catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) than those in WT plants, and the expression of several known stress-responsive and antioxidative genes was also higher at the end of chilling treatment. These results suggested that the suppression of LetAPX gene induced compensatory anti-oxidant mechanisms in tomato, and inactivation of tAPX may have a regulatory role in facilitating redox signaling pathways under chilling stress. Furthermore, transient increases in ROS levels also have a vital role in stress signaling and thereby in the survival of plants under chilling conditions.

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