Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB

Cellular ascorbic acid regulates the activity of major peroxidases in the apical poles of germinating white spruce (Picea glauca) somatic embryos.

PMID 17400467


In previous studies we have reported that applications of ascorbic acid (ACS) enhance the conversion frequency of white spruce somatic embryos by "rescuing" structurally disorganized meristems and inducing cell proliferation in the apical poles [C. Stasolla, E.C. Yeung, Ascorbic acid improves the conversion of white spruce somatic embryos, In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. Plant 35 (1999) 316-319]. In order to determine if the role played by this metabolite during embryo conversion is mediated by cellular peroxidases, the activity of guaiacol-, ferulic acid-, and ascorbic acid-dependent peroxidases were measured in the apical poles of germinating embryos with altered ASC levels. Changes in the endogenous ASC pool were achieved by treating the embryos with exogenously supplied ASC, L-galactono-gamma-lactone (GL) the last precursor of the de novo biosynthesis of ASC, and lycorine (L), an inhibitor of the last reaction leading to the synthesis of ASC. Our studies demonstrate the existence of a negative correlation between cellular ASC levels and activities of both guaiacol and ferulic acid peroxidases in root and shoot apices. A depletion of cellular ASC enhanced the rate of both guaiacol and ferulic acid oxidation at the apical poles of the embryos and resulted in meristem abortion. In contrast, the activity of guaiacol and ferulic acid peroxidases decreased below control levels if the endogenous ASC content of the embryos was experimentally increased. Fluctuations of total peroxidase activity following alterations in ASC pool were also confirmed by histochemical staining and in vitro studies. Overall our results suggest that a threshold of ASC level must be maintained in the apical poles of germinating embryos in order to inhibit peroxidase activities from cross-linking cell wall components and preventing post-embryonic growth.

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L-Galactono-1,4-lactone, ≥95.0% (GC)