The role of Δ12-acyl-lipid desaturase in plant resistance to hypothermia-induced oxidative stress was investigated. This study focused on modulation of free-radical processes occurring at low temperature in leaf cells of potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L., cv. Desnitsa) transformed with the gene for Δ12-acyl-lipid desaturase from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Nontransformed plants of the same cultivar were used as a control material. The plants were grown in vitro on Murashige and Skoog agarized medium containing 2% sucrose. During hypothermia the rate of superoxide anion generation and hydrogen peroxide concentration decreased significantly. In addition, the content of both primary products (conjugated dienes and trienes) and secondary products (malonic dialdehyde) of lipid peroxidation was lower in the transformed plant leaves than in leaves of wild-type plants. It is supposed that the insertion into the plant genome of Δ12-acyl-lipid desaturase stabilizes the composition and physical properties of biomembranes by promoting polyunsaturation of fatty acids, which averts the accelerated generation of O 2 ·− , — and suppresses lipid peroxidation during hypothermia. These changes improved cold resistance of potato plants, which was evident from the less severe injury of leaf blades in cold-treated transgenic plants, as compared to that in the wild-type line. The activity of superoxide dismutase, a key enzyme of the antioxidant defense system was lower in leaves of transformed plants than in leaves of wild-type plants. A comparatively low activity of superoxide dismutase in transgenic plants implies that these plants experience less severe thermal and oxidative stress upon cooling and can cope with the cold without considerable increase in the enzyme activity. It is concluded that the insertion of the desA gene encoding Δ12-acyl-lipid desaturase into cold-resistant potato plants improves plant resistance to cold-induced oxidative stress by decreasing the rate of intracellular free-radical processes.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 30, 2008
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