Cell suspension cultures of the liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha L. were found useful to study the influence of peroxidizing herbicides either on the greening process or on the fully green cells. The cells of both physiological stages exhibit a characteristic sensitivity to the herbicides. The sensitivity increased rapidly during the exponential phase of growth, reached a maximum during the late exponential phase, and then decreased in the stationary phase.
We investigated the kinetics of accumulation of protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) in Marchantia cells treated with several peroxidizing herbicides at various stages of cell growth, and observed a correlation between accumulation of PPIX and herbicidal damage.
The glutathione (GSH) content in the cell was also investigated to examine the role of GSH against herbicide treatment. In the light, GSH levels in the cells treated with AFM rose rapidly reaching a peak after 8 h, and rapidly decreased subsequently. The beginning of PPIX accumulation coincided with the decline of GSH after 8 h of treatment. Obviously, GSH plays a key role in protection against oxidative damage caused by AFM in the early treatment period. In the dark, AFM also induced an accumulation of GSH and PPIX, followed by a decline in GSH and PPIX contents during a 20 h incubation. The decline of PPIX was observed several hours after GSH starts to decrease, remaining at a constant level for the following 40 h, leading to accumulation of an other fluorescent still-unknown pigment.