The New phytologist

Succinate dehydrogenase (mitochondrial complex II) is a source of reactive oxygen species in plants and regulates development and stress responses.

PMID 26082998


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are signaling molecules that regulate plant development and responses to stresses. Mitochondria are the source of most ROS in heterotrophic cells, and mitochondrial complex I and complex III are regarded as the main sites of ROS production in plant mitochondria. Recent studies have demonstrated that succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) also contributes to mitochondrial ROS production. However, the ability of SDH to generate ROS in plants is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of SDH in mitochondrial ROS production. Our results demonstrated that SDH is a direct source of ROS in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, and the induction of ROS production by specific SDH inhibitors impaired plant growth. In addition, this effect was accompanied by the down-regulation of cell cycle genes and the up-regulation of stress-related genes. However, the partial inhibition of SDH by a competitive inhibitor decreased ROS production, which was associated with increased shoot and root growth, and prevented the down-regulation of cell cycle genes and the induction of stress-related genes by noncompetitive inhibitors. In conclusion, SDH plays an important role in ROS production, being a direct source of ROS in plant mitochondria and regulating plant development and stress responses.