Journal of plant physiology

Iron deficiency induces changes in riboflavin secretion and the mitochondrial electron transport chain in hairy roots of Hyoscyamus albus.

PMID 20181408


Hyoscyamus albus hairy roots secrete riboflavin under Fe-deficient conditions. To determine whether this secretion was linked to an enhancement of respiration, both riboflavin secretion and the reduction of 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC), as a measure of respiration activity, were determined in hairy roots cultured under Fe-deficient and Fe-replete conditions, with or without aeration. Appreciable TTC-reducing activity was detected at the root tips, at the bases of lateral roots and in internal tissues, notably the vascular system. TTC-reducing activity increased under Fe deficiency and this increase occurred in concert with riboflavin secretion and was more apparent under aeration. Riboflavin secretion was not apparent under Fe-replete conditions. In order to examine which elements of the mitochondrial electron transport chain might be involved, the effects of the respiratory inhibitors, barbiturate, dicoumarol, malonic acid, antimycin, KCN and salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM) were investigated. Under Fe-deficient conditions, malonic acid affected neither root growth, TTC-reducing activity nor riboflavin secretion, whereas barbiturate and SHAM inhibited only root growth and TTC-reducing activity, respectively, and the other compounds variously inhibited growth and TTC-reducing activity. Riboflavin secretion was decreased, in concert with TTC-reducing activity, by dicoumarol, antimycin and KCN, but not by SHAM. In Fe-replete roots, all inhibitors which reduced riboflavin secretion in Fe-deficient roots showed somewhat different effects: notably, antimycin and KCN did not significantly inhibit TTC-reducing activity and the inhibition by dicoumarol was much weaker in Fe-replete roots. Combined treatment with KCN and SHAM also revealed that Fe-deficient and Fe-replete roots reduced TTC in different ways. A decrease in the Fe content of mitochondria in Fe-deficient roots was confirmed. Overall, the results suggest that, under conditions of Fe deficiency in H. albus hairy roots, the alternative NAD(P)H dehydrogenases, complex III and complex IV, but not the alternative oxidase, are actively involved both in respiration and in riboflavin secretion.

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