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Reduced activity of antioxidant machinery is correlated with suppression of totipotency in plant protoplasts

Papadakis, A.K., Siminis, C.I., Roubelakis-Angelakis, K.A.
Plant physiology 2001 v.126 no.1 pp. 434-444
Nicotiana tabacum, Vitis vinifera, leaves, cultured cells, ascorbic acid, glutathione, protoplasts, lipid peroxidation, antioxidants, hydrogen peroxide, oxygen, superoxide dismutase, enzyme activity, chemical constituents of plants
We previously showed that during protoplast isolation, an oxidative burst occurred and the generation of active oxygen species was differentially mediated in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and grapevine (Vitis vinifera), accompanied by significant quantitative differences (A.K. Papadakis, K.A. Roubelakis-Angelakis [1999] Plant Physiol 127: 197-205). We have now further tested if the expression of totipotency in protoplasts is related to the activity of cellular antioxidant machinery during protoplast culture. Totipotent (T) tobacco protoplasts had 2-fold lower contents of intracellular oxygen free radical and H2O2 and 7-fold lower levels of oxygen free radical and H2O2 in the culture medium, compared with non-totipotent (NT) tobacco protoplasts. Addition of alkaline dimethylsulfoxide, known to generate oxygen free radical, resulted in isolation of tobacco protoplasts with reduced viability and cell division potential during subsequent culture. Active oxygen species levels decreased in tobacco and grapevine protoplasts during culturing, although higher contents of oxygen free radical and H2O2 were still found in NT- compared with T-tobacco protoplasts, after 8 d in culture. In T-tobacco protoplasts, the reduced forms of ascorbate and glutathione predominated, whereas in NT-tobacco and grapevine protoplasts, the oxidized forms predominated. In addition, T-tobacco protoplasts exhibited severalfold lower lipid peroxidation than NT-tobacco and grapevine protoplasts. Furthermore, several antioxidant enzyme activities were increased in T-tobacco protoplasts. Superoxide dismutase activity increased in tobacco, but not in grapevine protoplasts during culturing due to the increased expression of cytoplasmic Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase. The increase was only sustained in T-tobacco protoplasts for d 8. Together, these results suggest that suppressed expression of totipotency in protoplasts is correlated with reduced activity of the cellular antioxidant machinery.