Fe-chelatase (FeCh, EC 220.127.116.11) inserts Fe2+ into protoporphyrin IX (Proto IX) to form heme, which influences the flux through the tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway as well as fundamental cellular processes. In transgenic rice (Oryza sativa), the ectopic expression of Bradyrhizobium japonicum FeCh protein in cytosol results in a substantial increase of FeCh activity compared to wild-type (WT) rice and an increasing level of heme. Interestingly, the transgenic rice plants showed resistance to oxidative stress caused not only by the peroxidizing herbicide acifluorfen (AF) as indicated by a reduced formation of leaf necrosis, a lower conductivity, lower malondialdehyde and H2O2 contents as well as sustained Fv/Fm compared to WT plants, but also by norflurazon, paraquat, salt, and polyethylene glycol. Moreover, the transgenic plants responded to AF treatment with markedly increasing FeCh activity. The accompanying increases in heme content and heme oxygenase activity demonstrate that increased heme metabolism attenuates effects of oxidative stress caused by accumulating porphyrins. These findings suggest that increases in heme levels and porphyrin scavenging capacity support a detoxification mechanism serving against porphyrin-induced oxidative stress. This study also implicates heme as possibly being a positive signal in plant stress responses.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 19, 2014
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