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Light-Dependent Oxidative Stress Determines Physiological Leaf Spot Formation in Barley

June 2004 , Volume 94 , Number  6
Pages  584 - 592

Yue-Xuan Wu and Andreas von Tiedemann

First author: Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892; and second author: Institute of Plant Pathology and Plant Protection, Georg-August University Göttingen, Grisebachstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany

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Accepted for publication 15 January 2004.

We reported previously that physiological leaf spot (PLS) formation in winter and spring barley is dependent on genotype-related oxidative stress under field conditions. In the present study, we searched for factors inducing PLS symptoms in the greenhouse similar to those observed in the field and investigated its relationship to reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism. We found that in the greenhouse, oxidative stress induced spring barley cv. Extract, which is sensitive to PLS, to express symptoms similar to those observed in the field. Leaves severely affected by PLS showed significantly lower activities of key enzymes in the Halliwell-Asada cycle such as ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, dehy-droascorbate reductase, and monodehydroascorbate reductase. The sensitive cultivar also showed lower levels of total superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Cu/Zn-SOD activity but a higher level of chloroplast-specific Fe-SOD activity than that of the insensitive cultivar. Thus, an unbalanced ROS metabolism in chloroplasts may trigger PLS incidence in sensitive cultivars, which is in agreement with the fact that light is essential for the induction of PLS expression under both field and greenhouse conditions. Accordingly, under greenhouse conditions, continuous light stress (7 days), but not light shock treatments, induced PLS similar to that of field conditions in sensitive cv. Extract, but not in resistant cv. Scarlett. Light with a high proportion of energy in the blue wavelength spectrum (350 to 560 nm) was significantly more PLS inductive than light with a pronounced red (photosynthetically active radiation) spectrum (580 to 650 nm). Exposure to ozone did not produce PLS-like symptoms. Furthermore, similar to earlier observations in the field, PLS symptom expression was closely correlated with the accumulation of superoxide (O2 •-) detected by both biochemical and histochemical assays. Taken together, these data suggest that PLS in barley is genotype-dependent but its expression appears to be induced by certain environmental stress factors, among which photosyn-thetically active radiation plays a major role.

Additional keyword: antioxidant enzymes.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society