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Increased sensitivity to salt stress in an ascorbate-deficient Arabidopsis mutant

By Chenghong Huang, Wenliang He, Jinkui Guo, Xuexiang Chang, Peixi Su and Lixin Zhang


The Arabidopsis thaliana ascorbate-deficient vtc-1 mutant has only 30 % ascorbate contents of the wild type (WT). This ascorbate-deficient mutant was used here to study the physiological roles of ascorbate under salt stress in vivo. Salt stress resulted in a more significant decrease in CO2 assimilatory capacity in the vtc-1 mutant than in the WT. Photosystem II function in the Arabidopsis vtc-1 mutant also showed an increased sensitivity to salt stress. Oxidative stress, indicated by the hydrogen peroxide content, increased more dramatically in the vtc-1 mutant than in the WT under salt stress. To clarify the reason for the increased oxidative stress in the vtc-1 mutant, the contents of small antioxidant compounds and the activities of several antioxidant enzymes in the ascorbate–glutathione cycle were measured. Despite an elevated glutathione pool in the vtc-1 mutant, the ascorbate contents and the reduced form of ascorbate decreased very rapidly under salt stress. These results showed that the activities of MDAR and DHAR were lower in the vtc-1 mutant than in the WT under salt stress. Thus, low intrinsic ascorbate and an impaired ascorbate–glutathione cycle in the vtc-1 mutant under salt stress probably induced a dramatic decrease in the reduced form of ascorbate, which resulted in both enhanced ROS contents and decreased NPQ in the vtc-1 mutant. Key words: Arabidopsis thaliana, ascorbate–glutathione cycle, oxidative stress, photosystem II, vtc-1

Year: 2013
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