A rice pse(t) (premature senescence, tentatively) mutant line, was isolated from 4 500 independent T-DNA inserted transgenic lines. The symptoms of premature senescence appeared more severely than those of the control plants (Zhonghua 11, japonica) at the last development stage. To characterize the mutant and provide basic information on the candidate genes by mapping to a physical region of 220-kb, experiments were carried out in two phytotrons under controlled temperature of 24 °C and 28 °C, respectively. The content of chlorophyll, soluble protein and MDA (malondialdehyde), net photosynthesis, the antioxidant enzyme activities of SOD (superoxide dismuase) (EC 188.8.131.52) and POD (peroxidase) (EC 184.108.40.206) and the peptidase activities of leaves were measured from top to bottom according to the leaf positions at the flowering stage. Compared with the control plant, the mutant showed the following characteristics: (1) Higher net photosynthesis rate (P n) appeared in the 1st and 2nd leaves, contents of chlorophyll and soluble protein were also higher in the 1st leaf; (2) The activities of SOD, POD and peptidase were higher according to the leaf position from top to bottom; (3) The symptom of premature senescence was accelerated in the mutant at 28 °C treatment. The MDA content and the SOD and POD activities between the 24 °C and 28 °C treatment mutants were not significantly different. Content of chlorophyll and soluble protein of leaves mutant decreased rapidly at 28 °C treatment. The results show that pse(t) is sensitive to high temperature. The probable function of PSE(T) is discussed
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