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Metabolism of Reactive Oxygen Species Is Attenuated in Leghemoglobin-Deficient Nodules of Lotus japonicus

December 2007 , Volume 20 , Number  12
Pages  1,596 - 1,603

Catrin Günther, Armin Schlereth, Michael Udvardi, and Thomas Ott

Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14471 Golm, Germany

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Accepted 9 July 2007.

Leghemoglobins together with high rates of respiration are believed to be major sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in root nodules of leguminous plants. High capacities of antioxidative systems apparently protect this organ from oxidative damage. Using leghemoglobin-RNA interference (LbRNAi) lines of Lotus japonicus, we found that loss of leghemoglobin results in significantly lower H2O2 levels in nodules. Transcript levels and catalytic activities of ascorbate-glutathione cycle enzymes involved in H2O2 detoxification as well as concentrations of reduced ascorbate were also altered in LbRNAi nodules. Thus, symbiotic leghemoglobins contribute significantly to ROS generation in functional nodules.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society