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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Active Oxygen Species as Mediators of Plant Immunity: Three Case Studies

H. Sandermann

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 381, Issue 8, Pages 649–653, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2000.085, July 2005

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A burst of active oxygen species (AOS) is known to be involved in local cell death as part of plant defence against pathogens. It is, however, under dispute to what extent AOS can induce pathogen resistance and immunity throughout the plant. Three experimental strategies that reveal a primary role for AOS and a surprisingly low chemical and spatial specificity are now described for tobacco and Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Ozone is a gaseous AOS that was applied to non-transgenic plants. Hydrogen peroxide or singlet oxygen are AOS that were induced by high-light treatment of transgenic plants that contained antisense constructs inhibiting catalase activity or chlorophyll biosynthetic enzymes. In all cases, activated oxygen species, cellular lesions, ethylene and salicylic acid, and components of major plant defence systems (systemic acquired resistance, hypersensitive response) were induced, as was resistance towards pathogens (tobacco mosaic virus, Pseudomonas syringae or Peronospora parasitica). It is concluded that active oxygen species can act as mediators of plant immunity so that new non-pesticidal plant protection strategies could be developed.

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