The aminoglycoside antibiotic hygromycin B (Hyg) inhibits prokaryotic, chloroplast and mitochondrial protein synthesis. Because of the toxic effect of Hyg on plant cells, the HPT gene, encoding hygromycin phosphotransferase, has become one of the most widely used selectable markers in plant transformation. Yet the mechanism behind Hyg-induced cell lethality in plants is not clearly understood. In this study, we aimed to decipher this mechanism. With Hyg treatment, rice calli exhibited cell death, and rice seedlings showed severe growth defects, leaf chlorosis and leaf shrinkage. Rice seedlings also exhibited severe lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation, for oxidative stress damage at the cellular level. The production of reactive oxygen species such as O 2 ·− , H2O2 and OH· was greatly induced in rice seedlings under Hyg stress, and pre-treatment with ascorbate increased resistance to Hyg-induced toxicity indicating the existence of oxidative stress. Overexpression of mitochondrial Alternative oxidase1a gene without HPT selection marker in rice enhanced tolerance to Hyg and attenuated the degradation of protein content, whereas the rice plastidial glutathione reductase 3 mutant showed increased sensitivity to Hyg. These results demonstrate that Hyg-induced cell lethality in rice is not only due to the inhibition of protein synthesis but also mediated by oxidative stress.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2015
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