Plant physiology

Induction of glutathione S-transferases in Arabidopsis by herbicide safeners.

PMID 12428014


Herbicide safeners increase herbicide tolerance in cereals but not in dicotyledenous crops. The reason(s) for this difference in safening is unknown. However, safener-induced protection in cereals is associated with increased expression of herbicide detoxifying enzymes, including glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). Treatment of Arabidopsis seedlings growing in liquid medium with various safeners similarly resulted in enhanced GST activities toward a range of xenobiotics with benoxacor, fenclorim, and fluxofenim being the most effective. Safeners also increased the tripeptide glutathione content of Arabidopsis seedlings. However, treatment of Arabidopsis plants with safeners had no effect on the tolerance of seedlings to chloroacetanilide herbicides. Each safener produced a distinct profile of enhanced GST activity toward different substrates suggesting a differential induction of distinct isoenzymes. This was confirmed by analysis of affinity-purified GST subunits by two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. AtGSTU19, a tau class GST, was identified as a dominant polypeptide in all samples. When AtGSTU19 was expressed in Escherichia coli, the recombinant enzyme was highly active toward 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene, as well as chloroacetanilide herbicides. Immunoblot analysis confirmed that AtGSTU19 was induced in response to several safeners. Differential induction of tau GSTs, as well as members of the phi and theta classes by safeners, was demonstrated by RNA-blot analysis. These results indicate that, although Arabidopsis may not be protected from herbicide injury by safeners, at least one component of their detoxification systems is responsive to these compounds.